As housing, unemployment, the stock market, and the overall economy show signs of recovery, Professor Robert Shiller writes in the New York Times that we understand little about how people’s confidence affect these major turning points. "…[P]ublic thinking is inscrutable. We can keep trying to understand it, but we’ll be puzzled again the next time the markets or the economy make major moves."
Does economic inequality provide incentives for success? Does it introduce instability into the financial system? A political scientist and an economist discuss how inequality affects government, markets, and the risks faced by ordinary people.
Decades of economic research have assumed people pursue their goals in a rational manner, discounting the effects of emotion, bias, error, and other irrational forces. Robert Shiller argues that economists need to take a closer look at how people make decisions.
Creating a new market is different from developing a new product or service — it requires convincing an array of customers, partners, and other constituencies to see the world differently. And the effects can be far reaching, as markets are capable of taking on a life of their own. A media and technological innovator, a leader in the use of finance to address social problems, and a creator of housing futures discuss the risks and rewards of attempting the trick.