A Quantum Model of Supply and Demand
Orrell D (2020) A quantum model of supply and demand. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications 539: 122928.
29 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2019 Last revised: 28 Dec 2019
Date Written: April 23, 2019
One of the most iconic and influential graphics in economics is the figure showing supply and demand as two lines sloping in opposite directions, with the point at which they intersect representing the equilibrium price which perfectly balances supply and demand. The figure, which dates back to the nineteenth century, can be seen as a graphical representation of Adam Smith’s invisible hand, which is said to guide prices to their optimal level, and features in nearly every introductory textbook. However this figure suffers from a number of basic drawbacks. One is that it doesn’t represent a dynamical view of market forces, so it isn’t clear how prices converge on an equilibrium. Another is that it views supply and demand as deterministic, when in fact they are intrinsically uncertain in nature. This paper addresses these issues by using the quantum formalism to model supply and demand as, not a cross, but a probabilistic wave. The approach is used to derive from first principles a technique for modelling asset price changes using a harmonic oscillator, that has been previously used and empirically tested in quantum finance. The method is demonstrated for a simple system, and applications in other areas of economics are discussed.
Keywords: quantum economics, quantum finance, quantum cognition
JEL Classification: D00, D80, G10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation