Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Conversation with George Akerlof and Robert Shiller

Animals Spirits discussion at Zocalo.

A review of the book from The Economist;

NO TWO economic crises are identical. But the same questions recur. How did we get into this mess? How can we get out of it? How do we avoid another? Some answers repeat themselves too. You can be pretty sure that sooner or later someone, quite possibly an anguished economist, will declare that economics itself has gone astray. The wisdom of some past master, whether celebrated (John Maynard Keynes, for example) or neglected (Hyman Minsky, perhaps), has been forgotten, and the economy is paying the price.

A new book*, “Animal Spirits”, by George Akerlof of the University of California, Berkeley, and Robert Shiller of Yale, follows this rule to the letter. The authors seek to answer the first of those three old questions and thus to provide some pointers about the other two. They do indeed believe that economics has lost its way. And their chosen economist is Keynes.

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