Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism (Google eBook)

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Princeton University Press, Feb 1, 2010 - Business & Economics - 264 pages
27 Reviews

The global financial crisis has made it painfully clear that powerful psychological forces are imperiling the wealth of nations today. From blind faith in ever-rising housing prices to plummeting confidence in capital markets, "animal spirits" are driving financial events worldwide. In this book, acclaimed economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller challenge the economic wisdom that got us into this mess, and put forward a bold new vision that will transform economics and restore prosperity.

Akerlof and Shiller reassert the necessity of an active government role in economic policymaking by recovering the idea of animal spirits, a term John Maynard Keynes used to describe the gloom and despondence that led to the Great Depression and the changing psychology that accompanied recovery. Like Keynes, Akerlof and Shiller know that managing these animal spirits requires the steady hand of government--simply allowing markets to work won't do it. In rebuilding the case for a more robust, behaviorally informed Keynesianism, they detail the most pervasive effects of animal spirits in contemporary economic life--such as confidence, fear, bad faith, corruption, a concern for fairness, and the stories we tell ourselves about our economic fortunes--and show how Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and the rational expectations revolution failed to account for them.

Animal Spirits offers a road map for reversing the financial misfortunes besetting us today. Read it and learn how leaders can channel animal spirits--the powerful forces of human psychology that are afoot in the world economy today. In a new preface, they describe why our economic troubles may linger for some time--unless we are prepared to take further, decisive action.


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Review: Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism

User Review  - Chris Paul - Goodreads

I am a fan of Schiller's ability to ascertain a situation or economic system. That is why I chose the book. I am not very impressed with what he and his partner then represent as solutions. Government ... Read full review

Review: Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism

User Review  - Vincent Aurelio - Goodreads

Decent reminder that all the quantitative analysis of economics should not lead us astray from the fundamental notion that it's a social science. May help cure someone who's fallen in love with the ... Read full review

All 8 reviews »


Animal Spirits
Eight Questions and Their Answers
Economy Insofar as They Do?
Investments So Volatile?
fourteen Conclusion

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About the author (2010)

George A. Akerlof is the Daniel E. Koshland Sr. Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics. Robert J. Shiller is the best-selling author of "Irrational Exuberance" and "The Subprime Solution" (both Princeton). He is the Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics at Yale University.

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