Special Issue "Information Theory, Social Inquiry, and Economic Analysis: History and Recent Developments"

A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Theory, Probability and Statistics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Duncan Foley
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics, New School for Social Research, New York, NY 10003, USA
Interests: economics; physics; ecology; money; complexity and statistical reasoning; problems of social coordination
Dr. Paulo Dos Santos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics, New School for Social Research, New York, NY 10003, USA
Interests: classical political economy; information theory and analysis of complex economic systems; banking and monetary theory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A growing literature in economics, political economy, and broader social inquiry has offered a wide range of applications of concepts and tools from information theory. These have included the development of estimation methods in econometrics; the use of statistical equilibria and informational constraints in Walrasian and game-theoretic characterizations of individual behavior, social interaction, and market functioning; uses of the principle of maximum entropy to characterize the form and social content of persistently observed cross-sectional distributional forms in economic data; and the use of informational measures of heterogeneity and association to measure systemic patterns of discrimination and segregation in socio-economic outcomes. 

Despite the breadth of these applications, there is no generally accepted understanding of why and how concepts like entropy, relative entropy, mutual information, and informational gains may be useful to economic and social analysis, or of the reasonable scopes within which their use may further our understanding of economic behavior and of the functioning of economic and social systems. This absence has, so far, limited the capacity of this promising literature to make a significant impact in contemporary economic and social thought.

By gathering papers discussing both the historically influential contributions to this literature and more recent, innovative applications and interpretations, This Special Issue aims to promote debate on the bases, problems, and benefits of the use of information-theoretic concepts in economic analysis and broader social inquiry. In line with this objective, topics of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Statistical-equilibrium models of markets and economic systems
  • Inattention and economic behavior
  • Informational constraints, game theory, and social interaction
  • Information theoretic instruments in statistical estimation
  • Complexity and self-organization in economic and broader social systems
  • Mutual information, segregation, and discrimination in social and economic systems
  • Econophysics
  • Conceptual and methodological problems in the applications of information-theoretic tools in economic and social analysis.

Prof. Duncan Foley
Dr. Paulo dos Santos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Entropy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Betting, Selection, and Luck: A Long-Run Analysis of Repeated Betting Markets
Entropy 2019, 21(6), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21060585 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
We consider a repeated betting market populated by two agents who wage on a binary event according to generic betting strategies. We derive new simple criteria, based on the difference of relative entropies, to establish the relative wealth of the two agents in [...] Read more.
We consider a repeated betting market populated by two agents who wage on a binary event according to generic betting strategies. We derive new simple criteria, based on the difference of relative entropies, to establish the relative wealth of the two agents in the long-run. Little information about agents’ behavior is needed to apply the criteria: it is sufficient to know the odds traders believe fair and how much they would bet when the odds are equal to the ones the other agent believes fair. Using our criteria, we show that for a large class of betting strategies, it is generically possible that the ultimate winner is only decided by luck. As an example, we apply our conditions to the case of Constant Relative Risk Averse (CRRA) and quantal response betting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Indices of Informational Association and Analysis of Complex Socio-Economic Systems
Entropy 2019, 21(4), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21040367 - 04 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper is motivated by a distinctive appreciation of the difficulties posed by quantitative observational inquiry into complex social and economic systems. It develops ordinary and piecewise indices of joint and incremental informational association that enable robust approaches to a common problem in [...] Read more.
This paper is motivated by a distinctive appreciation of the difficulties posed by quantitative observational inquiry into complex social and economic systems. It develops ordinary and piecewise indices of joint and incremental informational association that enable robust approaches to a common problem in social inquiry: grappling with associations between a quantity of interest and two distinct sets of co-variates taking values over large numbers of individuals. The distinct analytical usefulness of these indices is illustrated with their application to inquiry into the systemic economic effects of patterns of discrimination by social identity in the U.S. economy. Full article
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