Animal spirits : how human psychology drives the economy, and why it matters for global capitalism / George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller
Nonfiction | Princeton University Press | c2009
Available at Adult Nonfiction (Call number: 330.122 A)
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2009.
xiv, 230 p. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 199-218) and index.
Akerlof and Shiller reassert the necessity of an active government role in economic policymaking by recovering the idea of "animal spirits" (i.e. human psychology) and making it work for and not against us. 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 fortune--and show how Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and the rational expectations revolution failed to account for them. The authors then offer a road map for reversing the financial misfortunes besetting us today.
Pt. 1. Animal spirits. Confidence and its multipliers -- Fairness -- Corruption and bad faith -- Money illusion -- Stories -- Pt. 2. Eight questions and their answers. Why do economies fall into depression? -- Why do central bankers have power over the economy (insofar as they do)? -- Why are there people who cannot find a job? -- Why is there a trade-off between inflation and unemployment in the long run? -- Why is saving for the future so arbitrary? -- Why are financial prices and corporate investments so volatile? -- Why do real estate markets go through cycles? -- Why is there special poverty among minorities?