Narrative Economics
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Narrative Economics : How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events

4.22 (18 ratings by Goodreads)
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From Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times bestselling author Robert Shiller, a new way to think about how popular stories help drive economic events

In a world in which internet troll farms attempt to influence foreign elections, can we afford to ignore the power of viral stories to affect economies? In this groundbreaking book, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times bestselling author Robert Shiller offers a new way to think about the economy and economic change. Using a rich array of historical examples and data, Shiller argues that studying popular stories that affect individual and collective economic behavior-what he calls "narrative economics"-has the potential to vastly improve our ability to predict, prepare for, and lessen the damage of financial crises, recessions, depressions, and other major economic events.

Spread through the public in the form of popular stories, ideas can go viral and move markets-whether it's the belief that tech stocks can only go up, that housing prices never fall, or that some firms are too big to fail. Whether true or false, stories like these-transmitted by word of mouth, by the news media, and increasingly by social media-drive the economy by driving our decisions about how and where to invest, how much to spend and save, and more. But despite the obvious importance of such stories, most economists have paid little attention to them. Narrative Economics sets out to change that by laying the foundation for a way of understanding how stories help propel economic events that have had led to war, mass unemployment, and increased inequality.

The stories people tell-about economic confidence or panic, housing booms, the American dream, or Bitcoin-affect economic outcomes. Narrative Economics explains how we can begin to take these stories seriously. It may be Robert Shiller's most important book to date.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 38.1mm | 793.79g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 18 b/w illus.
  • 0691182299
  • 9780691182292
  • 1,179

Review quote

"An engaging scholarly study of the stories we tell about economic events-stories that go viral, for better or worse . . . . Of immense value to economists and policymakers working on the behavioral side of the field." * Kirkus Reviews * "A magisterial account . . . . In some ways . . . a bigger challenge to the foundations of economics than behavioral economics."---Steve Denning, Forbes "Shiller argues forcefully."---Chris Johns, Irish Times "Shiller has none of the salesman-like bluster of the stock pickers clamouring for attention on business
TV news . . . . As it is, he has only 40-odd years of being freakishly right about things. It will have to do.

"---David Morris, Financial News "Provocative . . . . Especially timely in the current social media-obsessed era, because narratives-both real and false-can spread globally with just a few swipes, affecting not just economic activity, but ultimately the balance of geopolitical power."---Matt Schifrin, Forbes "The book is . . . good fun to read. It is full of amusing and apposite quotations, and interesting detail."---Charles Goodhart, Central Banking Journal "Many economists argue that the US housing market and economy are still on solid foundations, but ignore
Shiller's warnings at your peril. He rarely gets it wrong.

"---Tom Rees, The Telegraph
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About Robert J. Shiller

Robert J. Shiller is a Nobel Prize-winning economist, the author of the New York Times bestseller Irrational Exuberance, and the coauthor, with George A. Akerlof, of Phishing for Phools and Animal Spirits, among other books (all Princeton). He is Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and a regular contributor to the New York Times. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut. Twitter @RobertJShiller
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Rating details

18 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 44% (8)
4 44% (8)
3 6% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 6% (1)
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