Classical Ergodicity and Modern Portfolio Theory

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Geoffrey Poitras and John Heaney, “Classical Ergodicity and Modern Portfolio Theory,” Chinese Journal of Mathematics, vol. 2015, Article ID 737905, 17 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/737905

Date created: 
2015
Keywords: 
Classical ergodicity
Financial economics
Abstract: 

What role have theoretical methods initially developed in mathematics and physics played in the progress of financial economics? What is the relationship between financial economics and econophysics? What is the relevance of the “classical ergodicity hypothesis” to modern portfolio theory? This paper addresses these questions by reviewing the etymology and history of the classical ergodicity hypothesis in 19th century statistical mechanics. An explanation of classical ergodicity is provided that establishes a connection to the fundamental empirical problem of using nonexperimental data to verify theoretical propositions in modern portfolio theory. The role of the ergodicity assumption in the ex post/ex ante quandary confronting modern portfolio theory is also examined.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
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