Thu 10/24, 2019, 7:30pm
Robert Shiller
How Viral Stories Can Drive Our Economy


In a world in which internet troll farms attempt to influence foreign elections, can we afford to ignore the power of viral stories to affect economies?

Whether it’s the belief that tech stocks can only go up, that housing prices never fall, or that some firms are too big to fail, economist Robert Shiller asserts that the stories we tell can have a powerful effect on our economic behavior. Shiller brings us lessons from his new book Narrative Economics, cautioning us that narratives like these, whether true or false, have the power to drive the economy by impacting our decisions on how to invest, spend, and save. He invites us to learn new strategies for monitoring these narratives—strategies that could vastly improve our ability to predict and react to financial crises. Take a look at the foundations of our economy and the ways it can be impacted by the stories we tell.

Robert J. Shiller is a Nobel Prize–winning economist, the author of the New York Times bestseller Irrational Exuberance, and the coauthor, with George A. Akerlof, of Phishing for Phools and Animal Spirits, among other books. He is Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and a regular contributor to the New York Times.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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