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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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. List of Figures
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. Preface: What Is Narrative Economics?
  2. pp. 10-21
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xxi-xxii
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  1. Part I: The Beginnings of Narrative Economics
  1. 1. The Bitcoin Narratives
  2. pp. 26-34
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  1. 2. An Adventure in Consilience
  2. pp. 35-40
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  1. 3. Contagion, Constellations, and Confluence
  2. pp. 41-53
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  1. 4. Why Do Some Narratives Go Viral?
  2. pp. 54-63
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  1. 5. The Laffer Curve and Rubik’s Cube Go Viral
  2. pp. 64-75
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  1. 6. Diverse Evidence on the Virality of Economic Narratives
  2. pp. 76-91
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  1. Part II: The Foundations of Narrative Economics
  1. 7. Causality and Constellations
  2. pp. 94-109
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  1. 8. Seven Propositions of Narrative Economics
  2. pp. 110-127
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  1. Part III: Perennial Economic Narratives
  1. 9. Recurrence and Mutation
  2. pp. 130-136
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  1. 10. Panic versus Confidence
  2. pp. 137-158
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  1. 11. Frugality versus Conspicuous Consumption
  2. pp. 159-178
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  1. 12. The Gold Standard versus Bimetallism
  2. pp. 179-196
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  1. 13. Labor-Saving Machines Replace Many Jobs
  2. pp. 197-218
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  1. 14. Automation and Artificial Intelligence Replace Almost All Jobs
  2. pp. 219-234
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  1. 15. Real Estate Booms and Busts
  2. pp. 235-261
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  1. 16. Stock Market Bubbles
  2. pp. 261-262
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  1. 17. Boycotts, Profiteers, and Evil Business
  2. pp. 262-280
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  1. 18. The Wage-Price Spiral and Evil Labor Unions
  2. pp. 281-291
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  1. Part IV: Advancing Narrative Economics
  1. 19. Future Narratives, Future Research
  2. pp. 294-311
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  1. Appendix: Applying Epidemic Models to Economic Narratives
  2. pp. 312-323
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 324-347
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  1. References
  2. pp. 348-373
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 374-401
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780691189970
Related ISBN
9780691182292
MARC Record
OCLC
1119982645
Pages
288
Launched on MUSE
2019-09-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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