Economic energy

In economic thermodynamics, economic energy is a specific form of energy associated with wealth. [1]

In 1853, Hermann Gossen, as cited by Thomas Wallace (2009), theorized about economic energy, as follows: (Ѻ)

“The totality of commodities over which a person disposes constitutes his economic energy, his wealth, which devolves to the benefit of the social whole.”

In circa 1870, Georg Helm conceived a theory of “economic energy”, in a thermodynamic sense, in which, as summarized by Alfred Lotka (1921), money represents the most fluid form of economic energy. [3]

In 1908, Sidney Reeve, in his The Thermodynamics of Heat Engines, explained adiabatic lines on indicator diagrams via the following comparison: (Ѻ)

“The process may be perfectly paralleled by a man who goes down town with his pockets full of money. He may not have been robbed of a cent, yet he may return with his pockets empty; but the supposition is that his arms are full of bundles which he has purchased. Not a cent has been abstracted from him, yet he has ceased to possess his money; it has been transformed into another form of economic energy.”

In 1910, Italian economist Emanuele Sella, in his The Life of Wealth, was employing the term "economic energy" [2] Sella's objective, according to Guido Erreygers (2001), in introducing this term, was to find a representative value correlative to the "energy", or possibly internal energy, in a basic thermodynamic system.

See also
Economic entropy
Economic temperature

1. Erreygers, Guido. (2001). Economics and Interdisciplinary Exchange, (ch. 6: “Competition and Economic Temperature: the Entropy Law in Emanuele Sella’s Work”, pgs. 150-170). Routledge.
2. Sella, Emanuele. (1910). La Vita della Ricchezza [The Life of Wealth]. (pgs. 67-68). Publisher.
3. Lotka, Alfred. (1921). “Note on the Economic Conversion Factors of Energy” (Ѻ), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 7:192-97.

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