Narrative Economics: Incomplete evaluation of impact of viral stories

Book review: Interesting concept weakened by series of threadbare conclusions

Donald Trump’s use of Twitter and social media is not analysed. This is too significant an omission. Photograph:  Robert Alexander/Getty

Donald Trump’s use of Twitter and social media is not analysed. This is too significant an omission. Photograph: Robert Alexander/Getty

The American economist Robert Shiller is conspicuous in his achievements to liberate economics from an unquestioning adoration of free markets. His prediction of a collapse in the American housing market, and a consequent banking crisis, was a rare warning in advance of the 2008 crisis.

Shiller received the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2013. Animal Spirits (2009) and Irrational Exuberance (2010) are accessible high points of his efforts to re-integrate an appreciation of irrationality and emotion into economic decision making. Narrative Economics is the latest in this sequence.

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