John Bryant has researched extensively on the relationship between the disciplines of thermodynamics and economics, culminating in the production of a number of peer-reviewed and working papers and two books.


Entropy Man (2015)

A book by: John Bryant

Copyright: John Bryant VOCAT International Ltd


Chapter 1  Setting the Entropy Scene

describes by a series of scenes how entropy affects everything that humans have discovered about the world in which we live.

Chapter 2  A Short History of Human Development

charts the development of human-like primates from millions of years ago to the present ballooning of the human race and its dependence on technology, and the consumption of large amounts of energy and resources to support its style of living.

Chapter 3  Connecting to Economic Value

sets out the key research that links the discipline of economics to the science of energy/thermodynamics, including concepts such as embodied energy, productive content and  the source of economic value.

Chapter 4  Economic Stocks and Flows

describes the similarities between thermodynamic representations of gas systems and  economic concepts of price and volume flow, the distribution of income and wealth, elasticity and utility, and how the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics can be formulated to convey the connections.

Chapter 5  Production and Consumption 

constructs a simple thermodynamic representation of an economic production and consumption process, and develops links between economic entropy change, movements in output and the effects of constraints, and how energy and entropy fuel economic development.

Chapter 6  Money 

formulates the relationships between economic entropy change, economic output and interest rates, backed up by analyses of quarterly data for the USA and UK economies over more than five decades.

Chapter 7  Labour & Unemployment

illustrates the connections between economic entropy change and unemployment, again illustrated by quarterly data of the USA and UK economies.

Chapter 8  Resource Dynamics and the Economy

describes the connections between economic entropy change and the dynamics of both non-renewable and renewable resources.

Chapter 9  Non-Renewable Resources

illustrates the development of key world non-renewable resources, over the last five decades, including oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear power, steel, cement and aluminium.

Chapter 10  Renewable Resources

similarly describes the development of key renewable resources, including humankind, water, land and soil, and trends in diet, the green revolution, and the production of cereals, meat, fish and renewable energy sources such as hydro-electric, wind and solar power.

Chapter 11 The Atmosphere, Oceans and Cryosphere

is a summary of the key trends in climate change, viewed from the point of view of economic development.

Chapter 12 Economics, Entropy and a Sustainable World

sets out to describe the key forces that will impact on human development and a sustainable world in the coming decades.


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Thermoeconomics - A Thermodynamic Approach to Economics (Third edition 2012)

A book by: John Bryant

Copyright: John Bryant VOCAT International Ltd


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Some chapters of the book Entropy Man can be viewed via the following links.The author retains full copyright of the material however, and these downloads may only be used for private use and are not for redistribution elsewhere by the users.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

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Over the years we have undertaken research on a variety of world markets, including energy, steel, chemicals and capital plant, as well as topics such as added value analysis.

The application of thermodynamic laws and principles to the discipline of economics has been a particular research interest of John Bryant. His first peer-reviewed papers were published in the journal Energy Economics in 1979 and 1982, with the second paper 'A Thermodynamic Approach to Economics' having more substance, and which generated significant interest at the time.

After a period away from the subject, he returned to research and in 2007 published a peer-reviewed paper in the International Journal of Exergy entitled 'A Thermodynamic Theory of Economics'. This paper generated a lot of interest, coinciding as it did with the advent of 'Climate Change'.

John continued the research in 2007 and 2008 with further papers. These were all of a working paper variety and exploratory in nature.

In 2009 John reformatted all his research into a coherent whole, and wrote a book on the subject, published under the VOCAT banner in both ebook and printed formats.

Access to some of the above papers can be downloaded by clicking on the titles below, and information about the book can be accessed via the Menu link to the left of this page:

We undertake economic consultancy in three areas:

  • Economic analyses of markets in support of our employment expert witness business, including current labour market and disability statistics and trends both in the UK and in particular overseas countries. We endeavour to work in local currencies and tax regimes.
  • Background research on specific topics, such as added value, power investment and disability
  • Economic research either sponsored, or as pro bono contributions to economic thought.