NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Statistical Mechanics Approaches to Socioeconomic Behavior

Steven N. Durlauf

NBER Technical Working Paper No. 203
Issued in September 1996
NBER Program(s):   EFG   LS

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/t0203

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