Seminar: Global inequality in energy consumption from 1980 to 2014
Event Date and Time:
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Room 1171, LeFrak Hall
Inequality is an important aspect of the challenges faced by the human society. Various manifestations of inequality can be derived from the concept of entropy in statistical physics. In a stylized model of monetary economy, with a constrained money supply implicitly reflecting constrained resources, the probability distribution of money among the agents converges to the exponential Boltzmann-Gibbs law due to entropy maximization. Our empirical data analysis shows that income distributions in the USA, European Union, and other countries exhibit a well-defined two-class structure. The majority of the population (about 97%) belongs to the lower class characterized by the exponential ("thermal") distribution. The upper class (about 3% of the population) is characterized by the Pareto power-law ("superthermal") distribution, and its share of the total income expands and contracts dramatically during booms and busts in financial markets. Globally, energy consumption (and CO2 emissions) per capita around the world shows decreasing inequality in the last 30 years and convergence toward the exponential probability distribution, as expected from the maximal entropy principle. A saturation of the global Gini coefficient for energy consumption at 0.5 is observed in the most recent years, implying a global economic slowdown. All papers are available at http://physics.umd.edu/~yakovenk/econophysics/.
Victor Yakovenko is a Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was a recipient of the prestigious David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. He is a theoretical physicist with more than 25 years of research experience in studying electronic properties of various materials. In addition, he joined the emergent econophysics movement around year 2000 by publishing his first econophysics paper. More details about him and his work can be found at https://umdphysics.umd.edu/people/faculty/current/item/596-yakovenk.html.
This event is part of the seminar series "Climate Change and Social Inequality". Welcome to join us.