© 2018

From Galileo to Modern Economics

The Italian Origins of Econophysics


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Gianfranco Tusset
    Pages 9-44
  3. Gianfranco Tusset
    Pages 45-63
  4. Gianfranco Tusset
    Pages 65-86
  5. Gianfranco Tusset
    Pages 87-110
  6. Gianfranco Tusset
    Pages 111-129
  7. Gianfranco Tusset
    Pages 131-148
  8. Gianfranco Tusset
    Pages 149-173
  9. Gianfranco Tusset
    Pages 175-177
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 179-210

About this book


Empirical laws are rare in economics. This book describes efforts to anchor economic knowledge to invariant empirical laws. It links 17th and 18th century Galilean monetary economists to econophysics, a field that emerged in the mid-1990s. This virtual journey from past to present is charted by episodes on aggregates and empirical primacy. It includes the virtually unknown story of 19th century scholars who, by searching for a stricter mathematical approach, paved the way to an ‘engineering’ view of economics. Then there are celebrities like Pareto and his first empirical law governing the distribution of wealth. Pareto and Amoroso sparked a debate on the skewed distribution that spanned decades, ranging from finance to market transformations, to econophysics, with its concepts and tools inherited from statistical physics. The last stage of the journey goes through econophysics and the recent gradual advances it has made, which show how its position vis-à-vis economics has been changing.


Generalised gamma distribution Amoroso Gibrat Pareto Wealth distribution Economic equilibrium Econophysics Modern economics Empirical laws Galilean economics Engineering economics Asset pricing dynamics Wealth distribution Topological dynamics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of PadovaPadovaItaly

About the authors

Gianfranco Tusset is Associate Professor in History of Economic Thought, University of Padua, Italy.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“Tusset’s book is a thought-provoking study on the origins and development of the peculiar discipline of econophysics … . This may be the most relevant lesson for econophysicists to take home from this interesting book.” (Enrico Petracca, History of Economic Thought and Policy, Vol. 2, 2019)