Robert J. Shiller – Narrative Economics


From Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times best-selling 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 best-selling 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.

Author: Robert J. Shiller
Narrator: Susan Osman, Robert J. Shiller – introduction
Duration: 11 hours 7 minutes
Released: 19 Jan 2010
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Language: English

User Review:

urge insulting

I’ll start with the narrator. For the most part I enjoyed her flow, voice, and reading style. The only thing that threw me off is when Schiller made personal references and i had to remember it was a male that wrote the book.

This is my first time reading Schiller’s work. i can appreciate his ability to bring in various historical accounts and date to convey the creation and development of narratives. On a personal note, this book was recommended at a great time because Schiller touches on something I’ve been arguing about in the #massadoption of technology (specifically blockchain technology). Point is my theory isn’t totally far fetched.

The downside for me is that most of Schiller references and #POV are based on a very western (#American) narrative. And arguably have a white male bias. He does address his scope of view in the beginning. but i would have still like to get more insight on how econimic events look for people out side the US. granted that would’ve probably made the listen more than a 11hr listen. i would appreciate the cross referencing aspect.

In the overall i found it worth the listening and found the subject very interesting. But i still felt there was a level of academic dryness to it.