Statistical Mechanics Approaches to Socioeconomic Behavior
This paper provides a unified framework for interpreting a wide range of interactions models which have appeared in the economics literature. A formalization taken from the statistical mechanics literature is shown to encompass a number of socioeconomic phenomena ranging from out of wedlock births to aggregate output to crime. The framework bears a close relationship to econometric models of discrete choice and therefore holds the potential for rendering interactions models estimable. A number of new applications of statistical mechanics to socioeconomic problems are suggested.