Routledge – 2011 – 364 pages
This monograph examines the domain of classical political economy using the methodologies developed in recent years both by the new discipline of econo-physics and by computing science. This approach is used to re-examine the classical subdivisions of political economy: production, exchange, distribution and finance.
The book begins by examining the most basic feature of economic life – production – and asks what it is about physical laws that allows production to take place. How is it that human labour is able to modify the world? It looks at the role that information has played in the process of mass production and the extent to which human labour still remains a key resource. The Ricardian labour theory of value is re-examined in the light of econophysics, presenting agent based models in which the Ricardian theory of value appears as an emergent property. The authors present models giving rise to the class distribution of income, and the long term evolution of profit rates in market economies. Money is analysed using tools drawn both from computer science and the recent Chartalist school of financial theory.
Covering a combination of techniques drawn from three areas, classical political economy, theoretical computer science and econophysics, to produce models that deepen our understanding of economic reality, this new title will be of interest to higher level doctoral and research students, as well as scientists working in the field of econophysics.
'A challenging book which sheds further light on the field of econophysics as an interplay among economics, physics, and information theory, reading the past and the present with new analytical tools, and one which uses the past to provide new visions.'-- Nicola De Liso, University of Salento, Italy
Introduction 1. Problematizing Labour 2. Problematizing Information 3. Labour Productivity 4. From Machines to the Universal Machine 5. Information and Communication 6. Political economy: Value and Labour 7. The Probabilistic Approach to the Law of Value 8. Value in a Capitalist Economy 9. Farjoun and Machover’s theory of price 10. A probabilistic model of the social relations of capitalism 11. Money and the form of value 12. Credit and Capital 13. Understanding profit 14. Hayek on Information and Knowledge 15. The Big Picture, economic trajectories in Britain and China Appendix A: Proofs Appendix B: Experimental details Appendix C: Commodity Amplitude Space Appendix D: A simple planning program Appendix E: Profits in the SA model
W. Paul Cockshott has a PhD in Computer Science from Edinburgh University and is currently Reader in Computer Science at University of Glasgow. Allin F. Cottrell is Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University, North Carolina and has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. Gregory J. Michaelson is Professor of Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University, and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society. Ian P. Wright is a PhD student in Economics at the Open University. Victor M. Yakovenko is a Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland.