Econophysics as a New School of Economic Thought: Twenty Years of Research
A. Jakimowicz
Institute of Economics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Palace of Culture and Science, pl. Defilad 1, PL-00901 Warsaw, Poland
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In 2015, the science known as econophysics, which has been developing very quickly in latest years, celebrated its 20th anniversary. Perhaps a 20-year period is too short to evaluate the importance and achievements of econophysics, but the broad scope of research and significance of certain results encouraged me to undertake such an attempt. If societies appreciate efforts by econophysicists, perhaps we will be able to avoid next economic crises and related losses. Econophysics is a transdisciplinary science based on the observation that physical objects and economic objects can share a common theory. Since logical homologies are its foundation, it is an example of the well-known isomorphism principle formulated by Ludwig von Bertalanffy. The emergence of interdisciplinary fields of knowledge is consistent with the paradigm of general systems theory. The development of a given field of knowledge is most often measured by its ability to formulate new knowledge about reality. Progress in research can be spoken of both when the application of traditional methods leads to the discovery of new facts and when new scientific laws are discovered using new methods. Econophysics is an attempt to develop economics through the transfer of research methods and techniques from physics to economics. We are therefore dealing here with a second possibility. The methods of physics most often applied in economics include the theory of stochastic processes, cellular automata and nonlinear dynamics. This study presents the most important existing achievements of econophysics and the attempts to reconcile them with traditional economic knowledge. The accomplishment of a paradigmatic correspondence between econophysics and economics, both in the local and in the global sense, is a prerequisite for using the achievements of the former in economic policy.

DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.129.897
PACS numbers: 89.65.Gh, 89.75.Fb