Narrative Economics

57 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2017

See all articles by Robert J. Shiller

Robert J. Shiller

Yale University - Cowles Foundation; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Yale University - International Center for Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

This address considers the epidemiology of narratives relevant to economic fluctuations. The human brain has always been highly tuned towards narratives, whether factual or not, to justify ongoing actions, even such basic actions as spending and investing. Stories motivate and connect activities to deeply felt values and needs. Narratives “go viral” and spread far, even worldwide, with economic impact. The 1920-21 Depression, the Great Depression of the 1930s, the so-called “Great Recession” of 2007-9 and the contentious political-economic situation of today, are considered as the results of the popular narratives of their respective times. Though these narratives are deeply human phenomena that are difficult to study in a scientific manner, quantitative analysis may help us gain a better understanding of these epidemics in the future.

Suggested Citation

Shiller, Robert J., Narrative Economics (January 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23075. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2903742

Robert J. Shiller (Contact Author)

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States
203-432-3708 (Phone)
203-432-6167 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.yale.edu/~shiller/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
203-432-3708 (Phone)

Yale University - International Center for Finance ( email )

Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
203-432-3708 (Phone)
203-432-6167 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
70
Abstract Views
434
rank
20,636
PlumX Metrics