Modelling Inequality

Karim Thébault, Séamus Bradley, Alexander Reutlinger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Econophysics is a new and exciting cross-disciplinary research field that applies models and modeling techniques from statistical physics to economic systems. It is not, however, without its critics: prominent figures in more mainstream economic theory have criticized some elements of the methodology of econophysics. One of the main lines of criticism concerns the nature of the modeling assumptions and idealizations involved, and a particular target is 'kinetic exchange' approaches used to model the emergence of inequality within the distribution of individual monetary income. This paper will consider such models in detail and assess the warrant of the criticisms, drawing upon the philosophical literature on modeling and idealization. Our aim is to provide the first steps towards informed mediation of this important and interesting interdisciplinary debate, and our hope is to offer guidance with regard to both the practice of modeling inequality and the inequality of modeling practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)691-718
    Number of pages28
    JournalThe British journal for the philosophy of science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


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