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Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why it Matters for Global Capitalism (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Februar 2010

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  • Taschenbuch: 264 Seiten
  • Verlag: Princeton University Press; Auflage: Revised edition (1. Februar 2010)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 069114592X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691145921
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 2,5 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 42.948 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen



* Robert J. Shiller, Co-Winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics * Winner of the 2009 International Book Award, getAbstract * Co-Winner of the 2010 Silver Medal Book Award in Entrepreneurship, Axiom Business * Co-Winner of the 2010 Robert Lane Award for the Best Book in Political Psychology, American Political Science Association * Winner of the 2009 Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security, TIAA-CREF * Winner of the 2009 Finance Book of the Year, CBN (China Business News) Financial Value Ranking * Shortlisted for the 2009 Business Book of the Year Award,Financial Times and Golan Sachs * Featured on the Books of the Year list, Financial Times (* Listed on in a review by James Pressley as two of "our favorite financial-crisis books this year" "Akerlof and Shiller are the first to try to rework economic theory for our times. The effort itself makes their book a milestone."--Louis Uchitelle, New York Times Book Review "There is barely a page of Animal Spirits without a fascinating fact or insight."--John Lanchester, New Yorker "Akerlof and Shiller succeed, too, in demonstrating that conventional macroeconomic analyses often fail because they omit not just readily observable facts like unemployment and institutions such as credit markets but also harder-to-document behavioral patterns that fall within the authors' notion of 'animal spirits.' Confidence plainly matters, and so does the absence of it. When the public mood swings from exuberance to anxiety, or even fear, the effect on asset prices as well as on economic activity outside the financial sector can be large."--Benjamin M. Friedman, New York Review of Books "Two of the most creative and respected economic thinkers currently at work, George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, ... [have written] a fine book at exactly the right time."--Clive Crook, Financial Times "A truly innovative and bold work... At a time when plummeting confidence is dragging down the market and the economy, the authors' focus on the psychological aspect of economics is incredibly important."--Michael Mandel, BusinessWeek "Animal Spirits [is] ... the new must-read in Obamaworld."--Michael Grunwald, Time "[Animal Spirits] really applies to all the big areas where we need change."--Peter Orszag, Obama budget director (quoted from Time magazine article) "White House Budget Director Peter Orszag is a numbers guy, a propeller head as President Obama would say. But as David Von Drehle and I write in this week's print version of Time, Orszag has been spending his time recently reading not about spreadsheets, but about psychology. In particular, he has been reading a new book by the economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller called Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives The Economy, and Why It Matters For Global Capitalism... We are, it turns out, slaves to the Animal Spirits. They have brought us to our knees. And now they are the only things that can save us."--Michael Scherer,'s Swampland "In their new book, two of the most creative and respected economic thinkers currently at work, George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, argue that the key is to recover Keynes's insight about 'animal spirits'--the attitudes and ideas that guide economic action. The orthodoxy needs to be rebuilt, and bringing these psychological factors into the core of economics is the way to do it... The connections between their thinking on the limits to conventional economics and the issues thrown up by the breakdown are plain, even if they were unable to make every link explicit. Even more than Akerlof and Shiller could have hoped, therefore, it is a fine book at exactly the right time... Animal Spirits carries its ambition lightly--but is ambitious nonetheless. Economists will see it as a kind of manifesto."--Clive Crook, Financial Times "An influential Democrat who was also one of the world's top-ten, highest-paid hedge fund managers last year thinks he knows which book is at the top of the White House reading list this spring: Animal Spirits, the powerful new blast of behavioural economics from Nobel prize-winner George Akerlof and Yale economist Robert Shiller."--Financial Times "Akerlof and Shiller remind us that emotional and intangible factors--such as confidence in institutions, illusions about the nature of money or a sense of being treated unfairly--can affect how people make decisions about borrowing, spending, saving and investing. Animal Spirits is an affectionate tribute to the man [John Maynard Keynes] whose ideas, unfashionable for the past 30 years, have resurged."--Nature "Animal Spirits is a welcome addition to our Hannitized national economic debate, in which anyone who advocates government spending risks being labeled a socialist... Animal Spirits is most compelling when the authors summon all the key behavioral patterns to explain vast, complex phenomena such as the Great Depression... Animal Spirits ... [is] aimed squarely at the general reader, and rightly so: Macroeconomics is now everybody's business--the banks are playing with our money."--Andrew Rosenblum, New York Observer "[A] lively new financial crisis book."--James Pressley, Bloomberg News "The two superstars have produced a truly innovative and bold work that attempts to show how psychological factors explain the origins of the current mess and offer clues for possible solutions. At a time when plummeting confidence is dragging down the market and the economy, the authors' focus on the psychological aspect of economics is incredibly important."--Michael Mandel, BusinessWeek "What Sigmund Freud did for the study of the mind, George Akerlof and Robert Shiller are doing for economics. Freud, healer or fake--take your pick--built a career and a field of medicine on the idea that people are driven by irrational forces. Akerlof, professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley and winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics, and Shiller, the Yale economist who is the eminence grise of the housing meltdown, argue that massive government market intervention programs are the only way to turn fear into enthusiasm for spending and investing--the 'animal spirits' that are an essential part of recovery... Akerlof and Shiller pick up on the idea of the emotional impetus to investment. With elegant reasoning and lovely prose, they demonstrate that we'll all be wallowing in misery unless governments around world, especially the in the G7 nations, help to return markets to optimism... Animal Spirits is a fine discussion of the last few decades of development of economic theory, especially monetary economics."--Andrew Allentuck, The Globe & Mail "[T]his book is rather more than the usual lament about the failings of economics. Its authors are two of the discipline's leading lights... Most of the time, the unrealistic assumption of rationality serves economists fairly well. They should, however, be more prepared to depart from it, especially in times like these--even if that makes behaviour more difficult to describe in elegant equations. Messrs Akerlof and Shiller have therefore done their profession a service."--The Economist "With Animal Spirits we hone in on how incentives and narratives can be created to channel the human psychological factor into collectively healthy directions, and how to be aware of the fictions we tell ourselves about how we wish the world and greed and financial security worked. [Animal Spirits] sheds light on complex issues and leaves readers with a better grasp of undercurrents and--most importantly--a rediscovered belief in principles of common sense and caution."--Daily Kos "The new book from George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, Animal Spirits, has been getting a lot of press of late, and quite rightly: it's really good. It's not only very readable; it also offers a compelling vision of a very different type of macroeconomics--one where behavioral considerations are front and center, rather than simply providing what Clive Crook calls 'ad hoc modifications' to the standard, ridiculously oversimplified and unrealistic, model... [I]f you read only one book on this subject, make it Animal Spirits."--Felix Salmon, "As George Akerlof and Robert Shiller show in a new book Animal Spirits, this is no freak storm. It may mark the long-awaited encounter between psychology and economics... Akerlof and Shiller's book is probably the first macroeconomic exploration of the subject that is accessible to those interested in the subject but who don't have the academic training to understand the detailed argument."--Mint "My book of the week is an easy one this time around: it's Animal Spirits, by Robert Shiller and George Akerlof... Admittedly, I'm biased as a fan of both Shiller's and Akerlof's. Believe me, however, when I say the blessedly brief Animal Spirits is a thoughtful and well-written look at how economics discarded psychology and lost its way on the trip from Adam Smith, through Keynesianism, to laissez-faire. The book puts the current crisis in a useful economic context, with consistent and practical selections from behavioral finance illuminating everything along the way... Highly recommended."--Paul Kedrosky, SeekingAlpha "Another contribution to the human-nature-ensures-economics-is-irrational school of thought. But, unlike many of the rants against people trying to make an honest profit, this is a measured examination of how the present crisis is explained in economic terms. And so it should be. George Akerlof is a Nobel prizewinner, Robert Shiller teaches at Yale and is the author of Irrational Exuberance, which should give you an idea of this one's approach. This fascinating work uses economics to explain real-life issues, such as real estate price cycles, to key policy problems, such as the relationship between inflation and employment."--Stephen Matchett, The Australian "George Akerlof and Rober Shiller's Animal Spirits is a plea to start believing our lying eyes rather than the model. Rather than try to explain away the apparent irrationality in human behaviour, Akerlof and Shiller say we need to try to understand it and shape policies that take it int...

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

George A. Akerlof is the Daniel E. Koshland Sr. Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics. Robert J. Shiller is the best-selling author of "Irrational Exuberance" and "The Subprime Solution" (both Princeton). He is the Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics at Yale University.

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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Schelli am 7. Juli 2010
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Kurz zusammengefasst erleuchten uns die Autoren George A. Akerlof (Nobelpreis 2001) und Robert J. Shiller mit der Erkenntnis, dass die gängigen makro-/mikroökomischen Modelle idR das irrationale Handeln der beteiligten Personen und Organisationen nicht bzw. nicht ausreichend berücksichtigen. Dazu bemühen die Autoren den von Keynes verwendeten Begriff des "Animal Spirit", der eben für jene Irrationalität steht.

Akerlof und Shiller zeigen fünf Elemente dieses "Animal Spirit" auf - Confidence, Fairness, Corruption and Bad Faith, Money Illusion und Stories.

In typisch amerikanischer Pädagogenmanier werden zahlreiche Fallbeispiele herangezogen, um die Aussagen der Autoren zu konkretisieren bzw. zu verdeutlichen.

Letztlich stellt sich jedoch die Frage, was man nun mit der gewonnenen Erkenntnis anfangen kann. Hier formulieren die Autoren acht Fragen, anhand derer sie weithin akzeptierte Lehrmeinungen und Praxislösungen auf ihre Tauglichkeit in der Realität prüfen und um den Faktor der "Animal Spirits" erweitern. Die acht Fragen lauten:

1. Why do economies fall into depression?
2. Why do central bankers have power over the economy?
Post script zu 2.: The current financial crisis: What is to be done?
3. Why are there people who cannot find a job?
4. Why is there a trade-off between inflation and unemployment in the long run?
5. Why is saving for the future so abitrary?
6. Why are financial prices and corporate investments so volatile?
7. Why do real estate markets go through cycles?
8. Why is there special poverty among minorities?
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20 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Terribly disappointing... 21. Juni 2013
Von Michael Harrington - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
First, Akerlof and Shiller are two first-rate economists. The first for his classic illustration of the market for lemons that won him a Nobel Prize for the concept of asymmetric information; the second for his excellent work on risk sharing and macro-markets that may yet score him a Nobel.

Unfortunately, this book falls far short of that promise. They've squandered an opportunity to make a clear case for incorporating behavioral economics and finance into macroeconomic theory and policymaking. There are several good critiques on these Amazon pages, so I will avoid redundancy, but behavioral economics at the macro level can be distilled down to prospect theory and the realization that rational economic agents are loss averse, adaptive and heterogeneous. In other words, we react to perceptions of risk, uncertainty, confidence in, or fear of an unknown future. Policy directly affects real economic fundamentals that influence these perceptions that determine the resultant level of risk-taking. But the perceptions themselves are not the tail that wags the dog - it is the real measurable effects of policy outcomes. Current Fed policy is a case in point: showering cheap liquidity on financial markets in an attempt to revive false confidence. What we get are volatile asset markets, inadequate productive investment, scant job creation, and sub-par wealth creation. The policy has also seriously aggravated economic inequality.

Instead of cutting to the chase, A&S water down their explanation of animal spirits with nebulous concepts of fairness, corruption, money illusion, and stories. Are they strictly wrong in this approach? No, just beside the point. Most notably, fairness does not have a clear political definition, though it does have a moral and economic one: consequence follows action. This moral rule is reinforced by the history of our legal and judicial system, under which corrupt politics and "heads we win, tails you lose," banking is in clear violation. (BTW, political corruption includes all those government regulators captured by their regulated industries.)

Misguided policies have gotten to where we are and both laissez faire advocates and neo-Keynesians bear responsibility. By the end of the book it seemed like A&S's hasty polemic did not argue well for behavioral economics as much as try to soft sell the policy prescriptions of the New Keynesian school. But those policies have gotten us nowhere in terms of correcting the mistakes of the past. Lastly, A&S would be wise to note that our country already has a very good story that we seem to have forgotten: work hard, follow the golden rule, save, and invest prudently in a promising future. If we all did that, we wouldn't have these problems.

Political Economy Simplified: A Citizen's Survival Guide
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Could be better written, but accurate and important 13. März 2010
Von Irfan A. Alvi - Veröffentlicht auf
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The main idea of this book is that, when it comes to economics (both micro and macro), individual and group psychology matters a lot. This means that economic models based on assumptions of rational agents and efficient markets are incomplete at best and misleadingly inaccurate at worst.

Akerlof and Shiller propose five key psychological factors, the most important being confidence (or lack thereof) in the economy and one's personal place in it. The other four factors are perception of economic fairness, perception of corruption (and actual corruption!), understanding of the effects of inflation (money illusion), and the narrative stories we tell in order to interpret our economic past, present, and future. The effects of all of these factors are generally amplified by feedback processes. I believe the authors are essentially correct in their analysis. After all, if you have bad feelings about the economic situation, you'll be reluctant to consume and hire. When a lot of people feel the same way, aggregate consumption and hiring will drop, and a drop in aggregate production must follow.

Akerlof and Shiller next apply these factors in order explain why depressions occur, how central bankers can influence the economy, why unemployment occurs, why people don't save properly, why investments are volatile, why real estate markets go through cycles, why poverty is more common among minorities, and, most pressing, what should be done about the current financial crisis. In this last regard, their answer is that the government must actively restore confidence and a sense of fairness, regulate markets to control corruption and prevent bubbles and busts, and manage banks to ensure adequate supply of credit. I agree, and this is largely what the Obama administration is doing, though they need to do more of it.

My main criticism of the book is that, while the writing is elegant and engaging at the level of sentences and paragraphs, the writing is somewhat unfocused and repetitive at the level of sections, chapters, and the overall book. This reduces clarity and unfortunately obscures the chains of reasoning in the book. A lesser criticism is that the authors apparently don't realize that Adam Smith was aware of most of the factors they mention and the consequent need for government intervention; the problem is that those who have appropriated Smith's ideas have ignored those aspects.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is that this is an important book because it offers an accurate diagnosis and sensible solution for our current economic problems, so I recommend it, especially to people involved in formulating and implementing economic policy.
15 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Less Than Expected from These 2 All-Stars 19. Februar 2010
Von Tom K. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Behavioural economics matters for macroeconomics. Changes in confidence have a multiplier effect on finances and the economy as a whole. The desire for fairness impacts labor markets and makes them sticky downwards during a recession. Corruption is part of capitalism and leads to the bursting of bubbles. Most individuals suffer from "money illusion" and are unable to make wise financial decisions. Stories play a major role in politics and individuals' worldviews. The authors expound on these 5 topics effectively. They try to link them to the business cycles. They provide some history on business cycles illustrating the role of qualitative factors in creating and bursting bubbles.

The authors summarize much that we already know within the framework of non-traditional economics. Unfortunately, they do not provide a direction for economists to incorporate these factors into their econometric models

Furthermore, the authors insert their political views throughout the book, without making a persuasive case for their views. The reader learns that they support behavioral economics, capitalism, Keynesian economics and government regulation and that they oppose classical economics, monetarism, rational expectations, the efficient market hypothesis and the impact of Reagan/Thatcher on policies.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Animal Spirits Are Real 12. Juni 2013
Von Milton L. Erhardt - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I enjoyed "Animal Spirits" immensely. It is written in a very accessible manner, without an excess of economic and financial jargon.

The book's interest is the emerging study of behavioral economics. The book is a wonderful overview, if not detailed, account of the reasoning behind behavioral economics.

The authors introduce the key concepts of behavioral economics in five chapters at the beginning of the book. These concepts are Confidence, Fairness, Corruption, Stories and Money Illusion. The authors then follow these first chapters with additional chapters that explain in greater detail how these human behaviors affect the market. Messrs. Akerlof and Schiller, in essence, describe how human behavioral processes construct the functioning and understanding of the economy.

Messrs. Akerlof and Schiller give John Maynard Keynes the recognition and esteem his genius so deserves. In fact, the books name is derived from a Keynesian term. The authors make it clear that Keynesian economic logic has an intuitive understanding of "how the world works". The book explains that Keynes work portrays an innate understanding that economic decisions are directed more by an individuals emotions and immediate pragmatic concerns than by Adam Smith's delusional concept of "enlightened self-interest".

I was surprised to learn that some governments were timid about embracing Keynes ideas more fully, since Keynesian concepts are based more on observation than traditional economic "thought". After all, Keynesian economics and labor unions built the middle class in this country and in Western Europe.

My only complaint is that the authors, as most economists of any school do, somehow find the faith to believe that Adam Smith and his cohorts were somehow fundamentally correct. When studying Smith, Jeremy Bentham, Francois Quesnay and other Classicists, whether of the 18th century or now, a natural skepticism should arise. An adequately skeptical person will realize that classical economic thought is awash with unproven and unprovable assumptions and magical thinking.

Despite my complaint, the authors do understand that, as Thorstein Veblen stated in 1898, "economics is hopelessly behind the times". The understanding of the real world reflected in this book gives hope that those such as Messrs. Akerlof, Schiller, Ariely, the Keynesians and many others will lead economics away from the shamans and wizards to which economists now so tightly cling. The behavioral sciences will create a new economic paradigm in which economics may become an actual science and not the mere scientism it is now.

Neo-liberal economists will be surely be pulled, kicking and screaming, from the darkness in which they have existed for some 400 years. Economics may just finally bathe in the light that has shown on all science and finally join the 21st century.
6 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Jewel in Understanding Economics 3. März 2010
Von Marc Emmer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Animal Spirits is a must read for strategists and those interested in understanding complex economic cycles. Akerlof and Shiller make a compelling case that emotional triggers drive economic activity and the appropriate role for governments in influencing and regulating financial markets.

Part theory and part application, Animal Spirits is part economics and part social commentary. Not an economic text, this book is easy to read and to understand. For those who aspire to gain a rich understanding of the liquidity crisis and similar swings in the economy, Animal Spirits provides a practical insight on how markets react to various conditions.

The book argues that regulation has a role to balance large swings in the economy promoted by corruption greed and speculation. While I found the book interesting and informative, I found it counterintuitive that economists would offer some opinions not based on quantifiable data, but their own political or social bent.
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