Saturday, February 21, 2009

Psychology of Recession and Recovery

Just a reminder that Gerard O'Neill will speak on the Psychology of Recession and Recovery on March 2nd at 4pm in the UCD Geary Insitute. All are welcome. We hope to have a very lively session and to use the event to promote a more wide scale discussion of the role of psychology in economic recovery in Ireland.

On the theme of psychology of recession and recovery, I spent last night reading "Animal Spirits" by Shiller and Akerlof. Its a cracker and very timely. I do not use this blog for full reviews but in general this is one I cant recommend highly enough for both academics and lay people interested in what's happening around us. The authors write very lucidly, have impeccable academic backgrounds, seem to have a real humanism and interest in the real world and address hard-hitting questions head on.

The book is divided into two sections.

The first section addresses "Animal Spirits" and is sectioned into five chapters

1. Confidence and Its Multipliers
2. Fairness
3. Corruption and Bad Faith
4. Money Illusion
5. Stories (on the role of narrative in economic life)

The second section addresses eight key questions about the economy. I look forward hugely to talking about these questions at Tuesday night's bookclub. I will also blog extensively in the next year about related papers, ideas and resources.

Why do Economies Fall into Depression?
Why do Central Bankers Have Power over the Economy?
The Current Financial Crisis: What is to be done?
Why are there people who cannot find a job?
Why is there a trade-off between Inflation and Unemployment in the long-run?
Why is saving for the future so arbitrary?
Why do real-estate markets go through cycles?
Why is there special poverty among minorities?

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