Thermoeconomics, also referred to as biophysical economics, is a school of heterodox economics that applies the laws of thermodynamics to economic theory. The term “thermoeconomics” was coined in 1962 by American engineer Myron Tribus,Thermoeconomics can be thought of as the statistical physics of economic value.
Thermoeconomics is based on the proposition that the role of energy in biological evolution should be defined and understood not through the second law of thermodynamics but in terms of such economic criteria as productivity, efficiency, and especially the costs and benefits (or profitability) of the various mechanisms for capturing and utilizing available energy to build biomass and do work.
Thermoeconomists maintain that human economic systems can be modeled as thermodynamic systems. Then, based on this premise, theoretical economic analogs of the first and second laws of thermodynamics are developed. In addition, the thermodynamic quantity exergy, i.e. measure of the useful work energy of a system, is one measure of value.