Narrative Economics

Narrative Economics by Robert J Shiller has been on my to-read list for a while (I was waiting for the paperback edition to launch in South Africa.

The book looks at the thesis that narrative a way of presenting or understanding a situation or series of events that reflects and promotes a particular point of view or set of values influences market moves. In other words, words matter, and we create the future we describe.

Of particular interest to me was one of the case studies covered in the book, which looked at the narrative around technological unemployment, that is, the idea that “robots” will take all our jobs. It is amusing to note how far back that narrative goes, and how wrong it has been (even down to the phrase “but this time it’s different”!).

Anyway, humour aside, Narrative Economics is a great read for those of us interested in meta history, patterns, stories and unpicking the knots of cause and effect.

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