Robert J. Shiller

For Robert J. Shiller's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Aug 2, 2012

Speculative bubbles without financial markets

A speculative bubble is a social epidemic whose contagion is mediated by price movements. News of a price increase enriches early investors, creating word-of-mouth stories about their successes, which stir envy and interest. The excitement then lures more and more people into the market, ...

Mar 29, 2012

EU can live on without the euro

Great significance — probably too much — has been attached to a possible breakup of the eurozone. Many believe that such a breakup — if, say, Greece abandoned the euro and reintroduced the drachma — would constitute a political failure that would ultimately threaten ...

Jan 25, 2012

Does austerity promote economic growth?

In his classic “Fable of the Bees: or, Private Vices,” Publick Benefits (1724), Bernard Mandeville, the Dutch-born British philosopher and satirist, described — in verse — a prosperous society (of bees) that suddenly chose to make a virtue of austerity, dropping all excess expenditure ...

Jul 25, 2011

Toadies to the debt-to-GDP ratio

Economists like to talk about thresholds that, if crossed, spell trouble. Usually there is an element of truth in what they say, but the public often overreacts to such talk. Consider, for example, the debt-to-GDP ratio, much in the news nowadays in Europe and ...

Jan 26, 2011

Economics for the people

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — We are in the midst of a boom in popular economics: books, articles, blogs, public lectures, all followed closely by the general public. I recently participated in a panel discussion of this phenomenon at the American Economic Association annual meeting ...

Sep 29, 2010

Seven more years of hard economic times?

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Much of the talk emerging from the August 2010 Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, attended by many of the world’s central bankers and economists, has been about a paper presented there that gave a dire long-run assessment of the future of ...

Jul 28, 2010

Safeguarding financial stability

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Central bankers around the world failed to see the current financial crisis coming before its beginnings in 2007. Martin Cihak of the International Monetary Fund reported in July 2007 that, of 47 central banks found to publish financial stability reports ...

Nov 18, 2009

Ghost in the recovery machine

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The International Monetary Fund’s October World Economic Outlook proclaimed that “Strong public policies have fostered a rebound of industrial production, world trade, and retail sales.” The IMF, along with many national leaders, seem ready to give full credit to these ...