In the past decade or so, physicists have begun to do academic research in economics. Perhaps a hundred people are now actively involved in an emerging field often called econophysics, and two new journals and frequent conferences are devoted to the field. At least ten books have been written recently on econophysics in general or on specific subtopics. The University of Fribourg in Switzerland maintains an extensive bibliography of books and archived articles at its econophysics website, Physics departments worldwide are granting PhD theses for research in economics, and in Europe several professors in physics departments specialize in econophysics. The international consulting firm McKinsey and Co sponsors a new annual research prize, the Young-Scientist Award for Socio- and Econophysics.

Is all this activity just a fad, or is something more substantial happening?

If physicists want to do research in economics, why don’t they just get degrees in economics...

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