Quantum Technology for Economists

120 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2021

See all articles by Isaiah Hull

Isaiah Hull

Sveriges Riksbank - Research Division

Or Sattath

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Computer Science

Eleni Diamanti

Sorbonne University - LIP6, CNRS

Göran Wendin

Chalmers University of Technology - Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience

Date Written: December 9, 2020

Abstract

Research on quantum technology spans multiple disciplines: physics, computer science, engineering, and mathematics. The objective of this manuscript is to provide an accessible introduction to this emerging field for economists that is centered around quantum computing and quantum money. We proceed in three steps. First, we discuss basic concepts in quantum computing and quantum communication, assuming knowledge of linear algebra and statistics, but not of computer science or physics. This covers fundamental topics, such as qubits, superposition, entanglement, quantum circuits, oracles, and the no-cloning theorem. Second, we provide an overview of quantum money, an early invention of the quantum communication literature that has recently been partially implemented in an experimental setting. One form of quantum money offers the privacy and anonymity of physical cash, the option to transact without the involvement of a third party, and the efficiency and convenience of a debit card payment. Such features cannot be achieved in combination with any other form of money. Finally, we review all existing quantum speedups that have been identified for algorithms used to solve and estimate economic models. This includes function approximation, linear systems analysis, Monte Carlo simulation, matrix inversion, principal component analysis, linear regression, interpolation, numerical differentiation, and true random number generation. We also discuss the difficulty of achieving quantum speedups and comment on common misconceptions about what is achievable with quantum computing.

Keywords: Quantum Computing, Econometrics, Computational Economics, Money, Central Banks

JEL Classification: C50, C60, E40, E50

Suggested Citation

Hull, Isaiah and Sattath, Or and Diamanti, Eleni and Wendin, Göran, Quantum Technology for Economists (December 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3745608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3745608

Isaiah Hull (Contact Author)

Sveriges Riksbank - Research Division ( email )

S-103 37 Stockholm
Sweden

Or Sattath

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Computer Science

Eleni Diamanti

Sorbonne University - LIP6, CNRS

Göran Wendin

Chalmers University of Technology - Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience

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