The term Thermoeconomics refers to an economic theory resulting from the application the laws of thermodynamics to economics, especially the second law.[1] Early work on the subject starts with Frederick Soddy's Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt (George Allen & Unwin 1926), but the term originates with the American engineer Myron Tribus in 1962,[2][3][4] and developed by the statistician and economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.[5]

A Thermoeconomic Theory of Value Edit

As the second law of thermodynamics and information theory have a link we can also see thermoeconomics a statistical physics of economic value.[6]


Where V(X) represents the value of product X. The positive integer, b, represents the number of producers and p the probability measure. This leads to products with a high number of producers having low value and a products with a low number of producers having a high value. A value of P = 1 represents a state of abundance and the value of a product equals zero.

Production and Competition Edit

Thermoeconomics models systems as acquiring low entropy from the environment and forming structure. In economics, these structures are business and products which compete with each other. In thermoeconomic terms this process becomes:


Where the entropy, S represents the economic value and r the rate of price change over time. Sigma represents the rate of uncertainty.

Production has associated fixed costs and variable cost, both connected with entropy, for a given project. In thermoeconomics the cost becomes:




Where N(x) represents the the cumulative probability distribution function for a standard normal random variable. The variable K represents the variable costs. T represents the time duration for the project.

Further readingEdit

  • Frederick Soddy. Cartesian Economics: The Bearing of Physical Science upon State Stewardship. Hendersons. 1922
  • Frederick Soddy. Wealth Virtual Wealth and Debt. George Allen & Unwin LTD. 1926
  • Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen. The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. Harvard University Press. 1971.
  • Yehia El-Sayed. The Thermoeconomics of Energy Conversion. Pergamon. 2003
  • Jing Chen. The Psychical Foundations of Economics. World Scientific Publishing Company. 2005. ISBN 978-9812563231

External linksEdit

References Edit

  1. Sieniutycz Stanislaw and Peter Salamon. Finite-Time Thermodynamics and Thermoeconomics. Taylor & Francis. 1990. ISBN 0-8448-1668-X
  2. Yehia M. El-Sayed (2003). The Thermoeconomics of Energy Conversions (pg. 4). Pergamon.
  3. A. Valero, L. Serra, and J. Uche (2006). Fundamentals of Exergy Cost Accounting and Thermoeconomics. Part I: Theory, Journal of Energy Resources Technology, March, Volume 128, Issue 1, pp. 1-8
  4. Gong, Mei, Wall, Goran. (1997). On Exergetics, Economics and Optimization of Technical Processes to Meet Environmental Conditions. Exergy Studies.
  5. Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen. The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. Harvard University Press. 1971. ISBN 0-674-25781-2
  6. Jing Chen. The Physical Foundation of Economics - an Analytical Thermodynamic Theory. World Scientific. 2005. ISBN 981-256-323-7
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