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

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Princeton University Press, Jan 29, 2009 - Business & Economics - 230 pages
28 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.

 

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

User Review  - John Gurney - Goodreads

Two Nobel Prize-winning economists, George Akerlof and Robert Schiller, use their version of Keynes's theory of "animal spirits" to explain past financial crises and how economies grow. They have ... Read full review

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

User Review  - S. Nileson - Goodreads

I have read this book while taking Professor Schiller's Behavioral Economics course at Yale, making me appreciate it far beyond the barriers of its pages and truly allowing me to dedicate some time ... Read full review

All 11 reviews »

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
one Confidence and Its Multipliers 11
Eight Questions and Their Answers
fourteen Conclusion 167
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

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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