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by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen


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Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen. In the ultimate analysis man struggles for low entropy, and economic scarcity is the reflection of the Entropy Law, which is the most economic in nature of all natural laws

Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen. In the ultimate analysis man struggles for low entropy, and economic scarcity is the reflection of the Entropy Law, which is the most economic in nature of all natural laws. Thermodynamics itself is presented by the author as the physics of economic value and man’s economic activity as analogous (though not identical) to that of the purposive sorting of the famous Maxwellian demon. Economic activity is in fact an extension and a complement of man’s biological evolution.

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Start by marking The Entropy Law and the Economic Process as Want . Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen was a Romanian American mathematician, statistician and economist.

Start by marking The Entropy Law and the Economic Process as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Every few generations a great seminal book comes along that challenges economic analysis and through its findings alters men's thinking and the course of societal change. This is such a book, yet it is more. It is a "poetic" philosophy, mathematics, and science of economics. It is the quintessence of the thought that has been focused on the economic reality. Books by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen

Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (born Nicolae Georgescu, 4 February 1906 – 30 October 1994) was a Romanian mathematician, statistician and economist.

Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (born Nicolae Georgescu, 4 February 1906 – 30 October 1994) was a Romanian mathematician, statistician and economist. He is best known today for his 1971 magnum opus The Entropy Law and the Economic Process, in which he argued that all natural resources are irreversibly degraded when put to use in economic activity

Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's fame is due to his book The Entropy Law and Economic Process (1971) in which NGR conjugates thermodynamics and economics

Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's fame is due to his book The Entropy Law and Economic Process (1971) in which NGR conjugates thermodynamics and economics. But his importance for political economy goes far before the publication of this book and involves many different aspects of the analysis. While the complete theoretical framework described by NGR has been frequently contested, his analysis of the production process has been considered as truly innovative and useful, by many points of view. 2 people found this helpful. One of the better publications (though a bit superficial, and the "Biosphere rules" are based on the personal convictions of the author, not any references - but still inspring!)

Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen. Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics. Vacation Home Rental. One of the better publications (though a bit superficial, and the "Biosphere rules" are based on the personal convictions of the author, not any references - but still inspring!).

Nicolas Georgescu-Roegen. The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. Brent Ellis - Studii de securitate.

"Every few generations a great seminal book comes along that challenges economic analysis and through its findings alters men's thinking and the course of societal change. This is such a book, yet it is more. It is a "poetic" philosophy, mathematics, and science of economics. It is the quintessence of the thought that has been focused on the economic reality. Henceforce all economists must take these conclusions into account lest their analyses and scholarship be found wanting. "The entropy of the physical universe increases constantly because there is a continuous and irrevocable qualitative degradation of order into chaos. The entropic nature of the economic process, which degrades natural resources and pollutes the environment, constitutes the present danger. The earth is entropically winding down naturally, and economic advance is accelerating the process. Man must learn to ration the meager resources he has so profligately squandered if he is to survive in the long run when the entropic degradation of the sun will be the crucial factor, "for suprising as it may seem, the entire stock of natural resources is not worth more than a few days of sunlight!" Georgescu-Rogen has written our generation's classic in the field of economics."Library Journal

Comments: (7)

Exellent
Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's fame is due to his book The Entropy Law and Economic Process (1971) in which NGR conjugates thermodynamics and economics. But his importance for political economy goes far before the publication of this book and involves many different aspects of the analysis. While the complete theoretical framework described by NGR has been frequently contested, his analysis of the production process has been considered as truly innovative and useful, by many points of view.
MisterMax
good book
Frei
Georgescu-Roegen argues that neo-classical economics(the dominant
form of economics at this time) is not consistent with
fundamental physical laws. The law that NC economics is most in
conflict with is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the entropy
law. NE Economics assumes that continuous economic growth is
both desirable and possible. According to Roegen any economy is
permanently physically limited by the supply of low-entropy
matter and energy as a source for raw materials and as a sink
for our wastes. The only possible long-term source for
low-entropy energy is the sun and even this is available at a limited rate of flow.
An attempt at steady-state economics (as espoused by Herman
Daley) would be a significant improvement over the present
situation, but would still not be possible in the very long
run because of limitations on the supply of low-entropy raw
materials such as metal ores.
Roegen's point of view is fundamentally in conflict with
current economics, but we ignore his arguments at our peril.
In the not terribly distant future we will run up against
the limits that Roegen warns of.
The book is dense and difficult, but the concepts are extremely
important...
More readable books on the subject are
"Beyond Growth" and "Steady-State Economics"
by Herman Daley.
Blackredeemer
There are many great criticisms of neoclassical economics in this book. Georgescu-Roegen (G-R) points out such flaws as
@ regarding the economy as a closed, circular system;
@ neglecting qualitative changes because of the theory's preference for "arithromorhpic" concepts, i.e., concepts organized into distinct and non-overlapping gradations (such as preference/indifference/non-preference), rather than having fuzzy edges or ambiguities (such as real human preferences);
@ failing to attribute value to leisure, and negative value to the drudgery of work (albeit that assuming work must involve drudgery is itself based on some presuppositions not mentioned by G-R); and
@ fallacies in production models, "stock-flow" analysis and input-output tables.
The critique is usually presented with a refreshing brio. G-R isn't afraid to call ideas stupid when he believes them so.

But ... a lot of this book seems to go off the track. There is way more discussion of history of math and physics than seems necessary. Lengthy discussions of eugenics and cloning near the end of the book kind of come out of nowhere. Much of this, especially the biology, is by now very dated, and even that which is less so is often superfluous and bombastic. Some readers may think G-R prophetic because of his occasional allusions to solar power, and I was surprised to see him use the expression "nanotweeze" (as a noun) in 1971 (@351) -- but the book is wrong about so many other forward-looking details that these seem almost like lucky guesses, given the wide range of topics G-R drags into the book.

More substantively, G-R's understanding of physics was quite loose and often wrong. He errs when he talks about how "our whole economic life feeds on low entropy" (@277). Here he seems to be following an error Erwin Schroedinger made in an early edition of his "What is Life?"; Schroedinger corrected the error in a subsequent edition long before G-R's book, but that correction goes unnoticed. G-R's idiosyncratic usage of the terms "free energy," "bound energy" and "polymeres" (sic) will also set your teeth on edge if you come from a natural science background.

G-R does not make a convincing case for the relevance of entropy to economics. There are at least three reasons for this. First is G-R's faulty exposition of the concept, as mentioned above. Second, G-R doesn't adequately motivate the thermodynamics metaphor in economics. As shown in P. Mirowski's "More Heat than Light", the adoption of this metaphor was without empirical motivation, and came in no small part from a kind of "physics envy". It's true the metaphor as adopted didn't include the Second Law (about entropy). But before faulting the model for that omission, one should show why the analogy is appropriate at all. Instead of doing so, G-R mentions a few times that thermodynamics was based on an economics analogy. That's not good enough, especially given the distinctions between physical and social sciences G-R describes in his Chapter XI. Third, even assuming the thermodynamics metaphor can be justified, G-R doesn't address the proper limitations for the metaphor's domain of application. Why just add the Second Law into economics? How about non-equilibrium thermodynamic formalism? How about an analogue to chemical kinetics, which prevent chemical reactions from reaching equilibrium instantly or even at all, and without which we could not be alive? G-R ignores all these, without explanation (indeed, without seeming to be aware of them).

G-R is more convincing in the more limited claim that neoclassical economics models err in considering waste as an "externality", if not ignoring it altogether. That's a significant point, and he deserves credit and gratitude for making it. But this ambitious book does not read today like the grand philosophical synthesis it seems to have been intended to be.
SkroN
It must be admitted that Georgescu-Roegen's understanding of entropy was flawed. He, along with many other authors including physicists, thought entropy was a measure of disorder. It is not. That entropy is not a measure of disorder is discussed in a recent scholarly article by chemistry Prof. Frank Lambert, who has a nice web site devoted to the topic. More to the point, it was also discussed in Beard and Lozada's book about Georgescu-Roegen (p. 88, "Economics, Entropy, and the Environment: The Extraordinary Economics of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen"). It's not easy to say what entropy actually is, but it is straightforward for scientists to measure that, say, the standard entropy of one mole of iron (about 55.8 grams of iron) is 27.7 Joules per Kelvin.

While Georgescu wasn't completely right about all of entropy's aspects, his attacks on Boltzmann's H-Theorem, and on the "information as entropy" school, show completely correct understanding of other aspects of entropy. Furthermore, in his indictment of neoclassical dynamic economics, he was the vanguard of critics who decry slavish devotion to mathematical models which assume we know the future (at least probabalistically). Absorbing Georgescu's lessons would've spared Economics Nobel Laureates Merton and Scholes their disastrous experience running the failed hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management (described in the book "When Genius Failed"): change happens, the past does not always predict the future, and the consequences of one's actions sometimes cannot be imagined by anyone. When investing money, that's a good perspective; when talking about man's effect on the environment, as Georgescu was, it's a perspective that could save the planet.
The Entropy Law and the Economic Process download epub
Business & Finance
Author: Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen
ISBN: 1583486003
Category: Other
Subcategory: Business & Finance
Language: English
Publisher: iUniverse (November 23, 1999)
Pages: 476 pages