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Agent-based Modeling of Tax Evasion by Sanith Wijesinghe, Matthew Koehler, Laszlo Gulyas, Sascha Hokamp

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Chapter 11From Spins to Agents: An Econophysics Approach to Tax Evasion

Götz Seibold

11.1 Introduction

Econophysics is quite a recent development in physics, which started in the beginning of the 1990s and, as the name suggests, deals with the application of concepts derived from physics to problems in the field of finance and economics. Predominantly, these concepts are adopted from statistical physics, in particular from the modern theory of phase transitions and comprise notions such as scaling and criticality, which are used to describe financial or economic data (cf. e.g., Stanley et al., 1996; Lux and Marchesi, 1999; Liu et al., 1999; Yamasaki et al., 2005). Meanwhile, several books and review papers not only provide a good introduction (see e.g., Mantegna and Stanley, 2000; McCauley, 2004; Chakraborti et al., 2011a; Chen and Li, 2012) but also include critical reflections on the development of this new field as in Stanley et al. (2001) and Gallegati et al. (2006). In statistical physics one derives the phenomenological laws of classical thermodynamics from the microscopic mechanical description of the constituting individual particles. In this spirit a lot of research in econophysics is based on agent-based models (Chakraborti et al., 2011b) that go beyond the traditional economic description of a “representative agent” due to the incorporation of interactions between agents. In econophysics models these interactions then can have a correspondence in physics and economy ...

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