Animal spirits: how human psychology drives the economy, and why it matters for global capitalism / George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller. John Maynard Keynes coined the term “animal spirits” to refer to emotional mindsets. Akerlof’s and Shiller’s distinguished reputations command attention, and. Summary of “Animal Spirits” — Akerlof and Shiller. Every major economic crisis represents an occasion to review the economic theories that purport to explain it, .

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Reality is unrealistic, and sadly, the good guys don’t always win.

But the paradigm shift didn’t happen then, because Hicks distorted Keynes’s vision into something quasi-neoclassical, making what could have been a fundamental advance into a incremental improvement.

Macroeconomics is now everybody’s business—the banks are playing with our money. What about all the problems that come in with managing a super-complex system through a bureaucratic animall But he only even mentions one solution: In terms of the specific tools for the Investor, Irrational Exuberance is anlmal appropriate.

There is a discussion about feedback loops between animal spirits and real returns available, which help explain the intensity of both the up and down swing of the cycle.

View all 4 comments. Aug 13, Joel rated it really liked it Shelves: I particularly liked the section on the labour market and why wages are above the market level.

Nov 25, Michael rated it liked it. Actually that would count as cognitive macroeconomics I think; it’s just not in particular what I had in mind.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. House values increase by 0.

Quotes from Animal Spirits. I pa If you want to know why the economy works the way it does – this is the book for you. It has gone beyond not even wrong and actually made it to wrong—it makes precise predictions that are incorrect.


I’m not sure what this book adds. The examination of these psychological elements is the best part of this book. Rather, it expos First published inthese two Nobel Prize winning economists discuss here in great detail the role of human psychology in market economies.

Economists use too simple a model of how people enter into buying and selling transactions exchanges. The other part of this book that I really liked was the discussion of the cultural values of spending and saving in the United States as opposed to East Asia. For more own part, I imagine that this is only true if some other nation is willing to spend the money to purchase the products generated by this economy namely, the U.

Cognitive economics isn’t quite at that point yet; we have the potential to make predictions that are correct, which is of course the goal; but right now we aren’t making a whole lot of predictions at all, and the ones we are making aren’t very precise. Chapter 8 tackles the reasons for unemployment, which the authors say is partly due to animal spirits such as concerns for fairness and the money illusion.

Return to Book Page. One of the things about economics is that it seems impossible to predict the future, which is annoying, since it does seem that virtually the whole of economics is set up to do exactly that. Free markets need saving from themselves.

Animal Spirits (book) – Wikipedia

Such as the repeatedly told story that house prices will always rise, which caused many additional people to invest in housing following the dot com bust of Animal Spirits carries its ambition lightly—but is ambitious nonetheless. Trivia About Animal Spirits: Chapter 3 discusses corruption and bad akerkof, and how growing awareness of these practices can contribute to a recession, in addition to the direct harm the practices cause themselves.


This book provides a more convincing and deeper explanation of the recent credit crisis than any I have read. Most people think inflation will make things hard to afford, they do not get that prices of assets and wages raise together with everything else. Confidence, Fairness which impact wage-setting and the labour marketCorruption and Bad Faith financial marketsMoney Illusion being fooled by inflation and Stories, culture or zeitgeist.

Ad to this the effect of inflation. It was a riddle. Anumal who has taken a single class in sociology or psychology will instantly realize the “no duh” factor from this concept. Akerlof correctly shows how current economic thinking, in particular the Chicago school, over-simplified mass behavior by assuming that all individuals behave as if they were rational economic actors.

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

Chapter 6 is about why recessions happen. Reviewing the book for the Financial TimesClive Crook write “it is a fine book at exactly the right time This is also why “maximum likelihood” is sort of a perversion of Bayesian methods. Chapter 4 presents evidence that, in contrast to monetarist theory, many people are at least partially under the money illusion, the tendency for people to ignore the effects of inflation.

Animal Spirits is an well-written treatise accessible to both economists and non-economists alike. I expected more from the authors, given their sterling credentials. Higher progressive income tax on dollar compensation coupled with lower taxes on options compensation might accomplish this.