Why do banks, consulting firms and insurance companies hire more and more physicists? - Because the methods from statistical physics become increasingly important to model economical systems and, in particular, the capital markets. This course is an introduction to this quickly expanding field. It is often called Complex Economy or Econophysics.
This is how "the
floor" looks when something truly exciting happens.
The stocks of companies are traded at stock exchanges. The people who do that professionally are called stock brokers. They buy or sell specific stocks because they expect them to go up or down in value. Thus, they have a certain market expectation. However, it is known that the value of a stock, as you see it in the chart below, can be modeled by a stochastic process. This does not mean that there is no ``deterministic'' reason for the value to change. It is very much like the motion of an oxygen molecule in the air: its motion is not random, but it can be modeled as a random process. Such considerations make it possible to apply the powerful machinery of statistical physics in the capital markets. For example, the Black and Scholes theory yields quantitative predictions for the values of financial derivatives, such as options.
This is a chart. It shows the value of a stock for a given company as a function of time. Here, the company is NOKIA, and you see its performance from end of May 2000 to end of May 2001 at the Stockholm stock exchange.
If you feel like looking at more charts like this one of stocks, options, indices, exchange rates, etc., comdirect provides a very useful service.
In this course, you will not learn how to get rich quickly. You will learn solid tools of statistical physics and how they are applied to the economy. However, because the field is so new, we will also discuss a few speculative models. You do not need a background in economics! - In the course, you will learn the basics that we need. The course is suitable for everybody who has a sufficient background in mathematics, as it is taught in the basic courses for physicists. Physics background is helpful, but not required. Thus, the course is also suitable for non-physicists.A note in Nature (2008) on "Economics needs a scientific revolution" by JP Bouchaud.
The reference number of the course (kurskod) is FMF170. Syllabus
The course is given in English.
|Lecture||Time||Part in compendium|
|1||17/1 13-15||Ch 1,2: Some Remarks about Statistical Physics. Some Basic Concepts|
|2||19/1 13-15||Ch 2: Basic Concepts in the Economy and in the Capital Market|
|3||24/1 13-15||Ch 2,3: Statistical Modelling --- Lecture Cancelled!! ---|
|4||26/1 13-15||Ch 3|
|5||31/1 13-15||Ch 3|
|6||2/2 13-15||Ch 3|
|7||7/2 13-15||Ch 3|
|8||9/2 13-15||Ch 3,4: Black and Scholes Theory for Options|
|9||14/2 13-15||Ch 4|
|10||16/2 13-15||Ch 4|
|11||21/2 13-15||Ch 4|
|12||23/2 13-15||Ch 5: Correlations between Stocks|
|13||28/2 13-15||Ch 5|
|14||1/3 13-15||Ch 5,6:: Earthquakes and Market Crashes|
responsible for the course: professor Sven Åberg
Exercises: Daniel Ward
Written examination, Monday March 5th, 14.00-19.00, Ed:026.
Complex Economy, Thomas
Guhr, Compendium (2007), Mathematical Physics, Lund.
The compendium is sold at the first lecture (price: 150 SEK), and after that by Katarina Lindqvist, Mathematical Physics
For more information, send e-mail to Sven.Aberg@matfys.lth.se or call 046 222 9633, Matematisk Fysik, Sölvegatan 14A, Lund.