The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 225, Issue 17–18, pp 3299–3311 | Cite as

1996–2016: Two decades of econophysics: Between methodological diversification and conceptual coherence

Open Access
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Discussion and Debate: Can Economics be a Physical Science?

Abstract

This article aimed at presenting the scattered econophysics literature as a unified and coherent field through a specific lens imported from philosophy science. More precisely, I used the methodology developed by Imre Lakatos to cover the methodological evolution of econophysics over these last two decades. In this perspective, three co-existing approaches have been identified: statistical econophysics, bottom-up agent based econophysics and top-down agent based econophysics. Although the last is presented here as the last step of the methodological evolution of econophysics, it is worth mentioning that this tradition is still very new. A quick look on the econophysics literature shows that the vast majority of works in this field deal with a strictly statistical approach or a classical bottom-up agent-based modelling. In this context of diversification, the objective (and contribution) of this article is to emphasize the conceptual coherence of econophysics as a unique field of research. With this purpose, I used a theoretical framework coming from philosophy of science to characterize how econophysics evolved by combining a methodological enrichment with the preservation of its core conceptual statements.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Open Access This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business, University of Leicester, University RoadLeicesterUK

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