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Bodleian Social Science Library Guide: New Books

A short guide to the Library and our collections.

SSL Book of the Month

The SSL ‘Book of the Month’ feature highlights a book in our collection that has been chosen by one of our Subject Consultants. This may be a recent addition to our stock or an existing item that we would like to share with you.

Narrative economics, by Robert J. Shiller. Princeton University Press, 2020.

Available as an eBook.

January’s book of the month was selected by John Southall, Bodleian Data Librarian and Subject Consultant for Economics and Sociology.

Why was it chosen?

It was chosen because of the way it shows how stories help drive economic events – and why financial panics can spread like epidemics..

Book Overview:

Stories people tell – about financial confidence or panic, housing booms, or Bitcoin – can go viral and powerfully affect economies, but such narratives have traditionally been ignored in economics and finance because they seem anecdotal and unscientific. In this ground breaking book, Economist Robert Shiller explains why we should not ignore these stories at our peril—and how they can inform analysis and understanding.

Using a rich array of examples and data, Shiller argues that studying popular stories that influence individual and collective economic behaviour—what he calls “narrative economics”- may vastly improve our ability to predict, prepare for, and lessen the damage of financial crises and other major economic events.

Reviews

“… explores how the public’s subjective perceptions can shape economic trends… A sensible and welcome escape from the dead hand of mathematical models of economics.” - The Economist

“Shiller’s thorough discussion and many examples are certainly convincing as to the importance of narratives in individual economic decision-making and aggregate economic phenomena.” - Sonia Jaffe, Science

How can I access it?

This title is available as an eBook via SOLO. Oxford University staff and students can access eBooks remotely by logging into SOLO with their SSO.

To see previous Books of the Month go to the SSL Blog.