Robert J. Shiller: Economics, Narrative, and Pandemics - 92Y, New York

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Robert J. Shiller: Economics, Narrative, and Pandemics

Narratives that circulate among the general population are potentially contagious and can be epidemic, just as disease viruses are.

The general public does not talk about pure economic theory much, but some rudimentary theories that guide their economic decisions are spread by their connection with viral human-interest narratives. With modern historical files of digitized text, such as of newspapers or books, we can get clues of the changes in popular narratives in history, evidence of changing viewpoints of the economy, and link these to economic events. Such a historical analysis with reference to the epidemiological literature can help us predict the long-term impact of the Covid-19 epidemic with its associated narrative epidemic on the markets and the economy.

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Robert J. Shiller

Robert J. Shiller is Sterling Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University …

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