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

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

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.

Title:Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events
ISBN:9780691182292
Format Type:

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

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    Economics is part of politics and politics has a strong narrative element to it largely because narratives get people to act a certain way to cooperate a certain way, to understand the world in a cert...

  • A

    The author claims there is a need on economic theory to understand not only metrics, but narratives that create reality and affect economic decisions. I think this is the only point where we agree.The...

  • Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and

    "I don’t know how he takes bad news; I think he denies it, he claims it’s a lie. I don’t know what he’ll do if the stock market were to crash now. What could he do? He would blame the Federal ...

  • Teresa

    Good if you haven't already read Shiller's many other books, such as Irrational Exuberance, where this information is already covered. Needs to take the next step and ground this hypothesis in some em...

  • Marks54

    Shiller is a Nobel Prize winning economist who is known for “behavioral economics”, an area of study that emphasizes the aspects of economics that have steered away from the much more common empha...

  • Humberto Rd

    Falls short of expectations considering all the hype it received before it was released.It is good, but its is behind Irrational Exuberance and probably on par with Animal Spirits...

  • Warren Mcpherson

    An exploration of how common narratives relate to economic events and trends.The book reviews narratives that coincided with economic upturns, downturns, wars, and hyperinflation. Several of the insig...

  • Alja

    The author invites us to look at major US economic events from the past two centuries not just as a simple mix of economic policies and indicators, but also in the light of prevailing economic narrati...

  • UChicagoLaw

    In this powerful book, a simple, intuitive proposition is presented—the stories humans tell influence economic outcomes. While you may think that’s obvious, and the book is not filled with data (i...

  • Richard

    This book is an important addition to the literature of behavorial economics. We all remember our parents telling us, "that may have not been what you intended, but ultimately, 'perception becomes rea...