The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Ergodicity and Nonergodicity in Economics

  • Ulrich Horst
Reference work entry


A random economic system is called ergodic if it tends in probability to a limiting form that is independent of the initial conditions. Breakdown of ergodicity gives rise to path dependence. We illustrate the importance of ergodicity and breakdown thereof in economics by reviewing some work of non-market interactions. This includes microeconomic models of endogenous preference formation, macroeconomics models of economic growth, and models of social interaction.


Ergodicity and non-ergodicity in economics Path dependence Endogenous preference formation Ising economy Gibbs distribution theory Markov processes Social interaction 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Horst
    • 1
  1. 1.