Special Issue "The Close Connection between Economics and Quantum Theory: A Topological Exploration"

A special issue of Quantum Reports (ISSN 2624-960X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Columbia University, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA
Interests: Quantum Axioms; Topology; Mathematical Economics; International Trade and Development; Social Choice; Environmental Economics
Prof. Dr. Peter Eisenberger
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Columbia University, 116th and Broadway, New York, NY 10027, USA
Interests: quantum entanglement; global environmental issues; direct air capture of CO2; material physics; X-ray observations
Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Haven
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Canada
Interests: quantum physics formalism applied to social science; quantum information; stochastic processes
Prof. Dr. Andrei Khrennikov
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
International Center for Mathematical Modeling in Physics and Cognitive Sciences, Linnaeus University, SE-351 95 Växjö, Sweden
Interests: quantum foundations, information, probability, and contextuality; applications of the mathematical formalism of quantum theory outside of physics: cognition, psychology, decision making, economics, finances, and social and political sciences; p-adic numbers; p-adic and ultrametric analysis; dynamical systems; p-adic theoretical physics; utrametric models of cognition and psychological behavior; p-adic models in geophysics and petroleum research
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

What is the key tenet that rationalizes why quantum formalism in social science and especially in social choice and decision-making can be used? This is a central question that has not been previously answered. In classic physics, events, when seen as sets in a sigma-algebra, are described by one sample space with a single basis of coordinates (one framework) as in classical probability. The concept of ‘unicity’ essentially indicates that a single framework can describe all observed events. However, in decision-making, there is no reason to believe there is only one framework, which can capture all events.

This Special Issue will collect research that is being performed around applying elements of the formalism of quantum mechanics to the social sciences. There will be a particular focus on the key tenet(s) that rationalize(s) why the quantum formalism can be used in economics (in social choice and decision-making). As a central objective, this Special Issue will rigorously explore the foundational connections between economics and quantum theory.

Prof. Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky
Prof. Dr. Peter Eisenberger
Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Haven
Prof. Dr. Andrei Khrennikov
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. Quantum Reports is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1200 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.


  • Decision making
  • Social choice
  • Sigma-algebra
  • Classical probability
  • Quantum probability
  • Unicity

Published Papers (2 papers)

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The Color of Money: Threshold Effects in Quantum Economics
Quantum Rep. 2021, 3(2), 325-332; https://doi.org/10.3390/quantum3020020 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 349
Many cognitive phenomena of the sort studied by behavioral psychologists show evidence of a threshold effect, where a certain minimum impulse is required in order to produce a change. An example is the phenomenon of preference reversal, where a change in context affects [...] Read more.
Many cognitive phenomena of the sort studied by behavioral psychologists show evidence of a threshold effect, where a certain minimum impulse is required in order to produce a change. An example is the phenomenon of preference reversal, where a change in context affects a decision, but only if the effect on perceived utility is sufficiently large. Similar threshold effects play a role in the endowment effect, where the change of context from owning to buying something induces a step change in its perceived value, or the ultimatum game, where people demand a certain minimum threshold amount before a deal can be accepted. The situation is similar to the photoelectric experiment in physics, where a minimum threshold of energy from a photon is required in order to dislodge an electron from an atom. In physics, this quantum of energy is written as the product of Planck’s constant and frequency. This paper uses the concept of entropic force to derive a similar expression for quantum economics. The theory is applied to a range of cognitive and economic phenomena exhibiting a threshold effect. Full article
What Is Rational and Irrational in Human Decision Making
Quantum Rep. 2021, 3(1), 242-252; https://doi.org/10.3390/quantum3010014 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 754
There has been a growing trend to develop cognitive models based on the mathematics of quantum theory. A common theme in the motivation of such models has been findings which apparently challenge the applicability of classical formalisms, specifically ones based on classical probability [...] Read more.
There has been a growing trend to develop cognitive models based on the mathematics of quantum theory. A common theme in the motivation of such models has been findings which apparently challenge the applicability of classical formalisms, specifically ones based on classical probability theory. Classical probability theory has had a singularly important place in cognitive theory, because of its (in general) descriptive success but, more importantly, because in decision situations with low, equivalent stakes it offers a multiply justified normative standard. Quantum cognitive models have had a degree of descriptive success and proponents of such models have argued that they reveal new intuitions or insights regarding decisions in uncertain situations. However, can quantum cognitive models further benefit from normative justifications analogous to those for classical probability models? If the answer is yes, how can we determine the rational status of a decision, which may be consistent with quantum theory, but inconsistent with classical probability theory? In this paper, we review the proposal from Pothos, Busemeyer, Shiffrin, and Yearsley (2017), that quantum decision models benefit from normative justification based on the Dutch Book Theorem, in exactly the same way as models based on classical probability theory. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Why Quantum Techniques Are a Good First Approximation to Economic Phenomena and What Next
Authors: Vladik Kreinovich; Olga Kosheleva
Affiliation: Department of Computer Science, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
Abstract: Somewhat surprisingly, several formulas of quantum physics -- the physics of micro-world -- provide a good first approximation to many social phenomena, in particular, to many economic phenomena, phenomena which are very far from micro-physics. In this paper, we provide three possible explanations for this surprising fact. First, we show that several formulas from quantum physics actually provide a good first-approximation description for many phenomena in general, not only to the phenomena of micro-physics. Second, we show that some quantum formulas represent the fastest way to compute nonlinear dependencies and thus, naturally appear when we look for easily computable models; in this aspect, there is a very strong similarity between quantum techniques and neural networks. Third, due to numerous practical applications of micro-phenomena, many problems related to quantum equations have been solved; so, when we use quantum techniques to describe social phenomena, we can utilize the numerous existing solutions -- which would not have been the case if we use other nonlinear techniques for which not many solutions are known. All this provides an explanation of why quantum techniques work reasonably well in economics. However, of course, economics is different from quantum world, quantum equations only provide a first approximation to economic situations. In this paper, we use the ideas behind our explanations to speculate on what should be the next -- not-exactly-quantum -- approximation to social and economic phenomena.

Title: Quantum-Like modelling of prisoner’s dilemma game: Quantum entanglement or classical entanglement?
Authors: Sudip Patra; Partha Ghose
Affiliation: OP Jindal Global University, India
Abstract: Quantum games or quantum-like modelling in game theory has by itself become a promising emerging field of study. However standard quantum games are fully based on the use of quantum technologies and the pure quantum entanglement design, which make such games difficult to play in more general scenarios. Recently though equivalences between quantum and mixed strategy classical games have been observed. We, in the current paper, propose that similar superior equilibria results can be obtained through less stringent design, namely by exploiting classical entanglement-based design, a phenomenon which is well established now in classical optics. We also extend our basic model to n players game, and dynamical games.

Title: Perspective taking, interference effects, and rationality in strategical decision making
Authors: Jerome R. Busemeyer; Zheng Wang
Affiliation: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA (JRB) The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA (ZW)
Abstract: Experimental research on strategic decision making has reported systematic interference effects that earlier predictions have on later actions. Stating a prediction about an opponent changes the total probability (pooled over predictions) of a player’s future action as compared to not stating any prediction. First, we review six different findings of interference effects from existing empirical work using prisoner's dilemma and centipede games. These interference effects are difficult to explain using traditional economic models, and instead these results suggest turning to a quantum cognition approach to strategic decision making. Then, we review seven proposed accounts for these interference effects in strategic decision making using quantum cognition theories.

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