Robert Shiller

2013 Nobel Laureate in Economics
Distinguished Professor of Economics, Yale University

Creative innovations in finance and risk management based on human behavior.

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Biography

One of the most far-seeing political economists of our time, Robert J. Shiller is known the world over for his brilliant forecasts of financial bubbles and his penetrating insights into market dynamics and how human psychology drives the economy. For his empirical analysis of asset prices, Robert was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics.

He has offered audiences unerring predictions of the last two bubble collapses and he continues to offer a road map for reversing the financial crisis we face today.

In his New York Times bestseller, Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism, he and co-author George Akerlof give us fresh insights into how dangerous bubbles form and offer measures for preventing such crises in the future.

Shiller’s newest book, Finance and the Good Society, recognizes that in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the financial industry could hardly be worse. Shiller argues that, rather than condemning finance, we need to reclaim it for the common good. He makes a powerful case for recognizing that finance, far from being a parasite on society, is one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems and increasing the general well-being.

In his New York Times bestseller Irrational Exuberance, published in March 2000, he called the dotcom bubble for what it was and predicted the bubble’s collapse while everyone else was still cheering.

Similarly, his book, The Subprime Solution, explains the housing market's collapse and its broader impact, and proposes bold measures to solve the current crisis and the underlying economic weaknesses that made it possible.

Robert is a famously successful innovator in the emerging field of behavioral finance. He co-created the most widely quoted home price index in the country (the S&P/Case-Shiller Index) and is the author of a book — The New Financial Order — that offers truly creative and workable solutions to some of our greatest financial problems.

He also helped launch an active market in house-price futures and options on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Dr. Shiller is the Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University, and Professor of Finance and fellow at the International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management. He has strong connections to the securities industry.

He cofounded MacroMarkets LLC, which uses the Case-Shiller methodology to develop innovative financial instruments to facilitate investment and risk management.

He contributes regularly to the Economic View column of The New York Times and to Project Syndicate.

Robert Shiller is a strong presenter for audiences looking for inspiration and innovation in financial markets and financial services, and to understand the impact of financial crises on the social fabric.

Dr. Shiller was chosen as one of Bloomberg's 50 Most Influential People in Global Finance, 2011.

Credentials

  • 2013 Nobel Laureate in Economic Science
  • Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University
  • Professor of Finance and fellow at the International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management
  • Co-developer, S&P/Case-Shiller© Home Price Indices
  • President-Elect, American Economic Association
  • Cofounder, MacroMarkets LLC
  • Fellow, International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management
  • Bloomberg’s 50 Most Influential People in Global Finance, 2011
  • Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers 2010 and 2009
  • Regular contributor, Economic View column, The New York Times
  • Research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Fellow, Econometric Society
  • Member of the Academic Advisory Panel for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Recipient, Guggenheim Fellowship

Books

Irrational Exuberance

Revised and Expanded Third Edition

Robert Shiller

In this revised, updated, and expanded edition of his New York Times bestseller, Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller, who warned of both the tech and housing bubbles, now cautions that signs of irrational exuberance among investors have only increased since the 2008-9 financial crisis. With high stock and bond prices in the United States, and rising housing prices in many countries, the post-subprime boom may well turn out to be another illustration of Shiller's influential argument that psychologically driven volatility is an inherent characteristic of all asset markets. In other words, Irrational Exuberance is as relevant as ever.

But Irrational Exuberance is about something far more important than the current situation in any given market because the book explains the forces that move all markets up and down. It shows how investor euphoria can drive asset prices up to dizzying and unsustainable heights, and how, at other times, investor discouragement can push prices down to very low levels.

Previous editions covered the stock and housing markets — and famously predicted their crashes. This new edition expands its coverage to include the bond market, so that the book now addresses all of the major investment markets. This edition also includes updated data throughout, as well as Shiller's 2013 Nobel Prize lecture, which puts the book in broader context.

In addition to diagnosing the causes of asset bubbles, Irrational Exuberance recommends urgent policy changes to lessen their likelihood and severity — and suggests ways that individuals can decrease their risk before the next bubble bursts. No one whose future depends on a retirement account, a house, or other investments can afford not to read it.

Princeton University Press (January 25, 2015)

Finance and the Good Society

Robert Shiller

The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. New York Times best-selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologist for the sins of finance — he is probably the only person to have predicted both the stock market bubble of 2000 and the real estate bubble that led up to the subprime mortgage meltdown. But in this important and timely book, Shiller argues that, rather than condemning finance, we need to reclaim it for the common good. He makes a powerful case for recognizing that finance, far from being a parasite on society, is one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems and increasing the general well-being. We need more financial innovation — not less — and finance should play a larger role in helping society achieve its goals.

Challenging the public and its leaders to rethink finance and its role in society, Shiller argues that finance should be defined not merely as the manipulation of money or the management of risk but as the stewardship of society's assets. He explains how people in financial careers — from CEO, investment manager, and banker to insurer, lawyer, and regulator — can and do manage, protect, and increase these assets. He describes how finance has historically contributed to the good of society through inventions such as insurance, mortgages, savings accounts, and pensions, and argues that we need to envision new ways to rechannel financial creativity to benefit society as a whole.

Ultimately, Shiller shows how society can once again harness the power of finance for the greater good.

Princeton University Press (April 2012)

Review

Why finance is good for usThe Economist

Animal Spirits

How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism

George A. Akerlof and Robert Shiller

The global financial crisis has made it painfully clear that powerful psychological forces are imperiling the wealth of nations today. From blind faith in ever-rising housing prices to plummeting confidence in capital markets, "animal spirits" are driving financial events worldwide. In this book, acclaimed economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller challenge the economic wisdom that got us into this mess, and put forward a bold new vision that will transform economics and restore prosperity.

Akerlof and Shiller reassert the necessity of an active government role in economic policymaking by recovering the idea of animal spirits, a term John Maynard Keynes used to describe the gloom and despondence that led to the Great Depression and the changing psychology that accompanied recovery. Like Keynes, Akerlof and Shiller know that managing these animal spirits requires the steady hand of government — simply allowing markets to work won't do it. In rebuilding the case for a more robust, behaviorally informed Keynesianism, they detail the most pervasive effects of animal spirits in contemporary economic life — such as confidence, fear, bad faith, corruption, a concern for fairness, and the stories we tell ourselves about our economic fortunes—and show how Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and the rational expectations revolution failed to account for them.

Animal Spirits offers a road map for reversing the financial misfortunes besetting us today. Read it and learn how leaders can channel animal spirits — the powerful forces of human psychology that are afoot in the world economy today.

Princeton University Press; New edition edition (February 21, 2010)
Princeton University Press (February 18, 2009)

Reviews

An Obama Book Club SelectionAmerican Thinker
Irrational ExuberanceThe New York Times
An economic bestiaryThe Economist
Book ReviewThe Atlantic
Book ReviewFinancial Times

The Subprime Solution

How Today's Global Financial Crisis Happened and What to Do About It

Robert Shiller

The subprime mortgage crisis has already wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people and now it threatens to derail the U.S. economy and economies around the world. In this trenchant book, best-selling economist Robert Shiller reveals the origins of this crisis and puts forward bold measures to solve it. He calls for an aggressive response — a restructuring of the institutional foundations of the financial system that will not only allow people once again to buy and sell homes with confidence, but will create the conditions for greater prosperity in America and throughout the deeply interconnected world economy.

Shiller blames the subprime crisis on the irrational exuberance that drove the economy's two most recent bubbles — in stocks in the 1990s and in housing between 2000 and 2007. He shows how these bubbles led to the dangerous overextension of credit now resulting in foreclosures, bankruptcies, and write-offs, as well as a global credit crunch. To restore confidence in the markets, Shiller argues, bailouts are needed in the short run. But he insists that these bailouts must be targeted at low-income victims of subprime deals. In the longer term, the subprime solution will require leaders to revamp the financial framework by deploying an ambitious package of initiatives to inhibit the formation of bubbles and limit risks, including better financial information; simplified legal contracts and regulations; expanded markets for managing risks; home equity insurance policies; income-linked home loans; and new measures to protect consumers against hidden inflationary effects.

This powerful book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how we got into the subprime mess — and how we can get out.

Princeton University Press (July 21, 2008)

Reviews

When innovation is the only remedyFinancial Times
Solving the Subprime Crisis of Financial DemocracyBloomberg Businessweek

Irrational Exuberance

2nd Edition

Robert Shiller

In this timely and prescient update of his celebrated 2000 bestseller Irrational Exuberance, Robert J. Shiller returns to the topic that gained him international fame: market volatility. Shiller breaks new ground in this second edition by laying out in even clearer and starker terms the market excesses that continue to destabilize the economy and disrupt our lives. Having predicted the stock market collapse that began just one month after the first edition was published, he now expands the book to cover other markets that have become volatile, particularly the recently red-hot housing market. He includes a full chapter on domestic and international housing prices in historical perspective.

Shiller amasses impressive evidence to support his argument that the recent housing market boom bears many similarities to the stock market bubble of the late 1990s, and may eventually be followed by declining home prices for years to come. After stocks plummeted when the bubble burst in 2000, investors moved their money into housing. This precipitated the inflated real estate prices not only in America, but around the world, Shiller maintains. Hence, irrational exuberance did not disappear-it merely reappeared in other settings.

Building on the original edition, Shiller draws out the psychological origins of volatility in financial markets, this time folding real estate into his analysis. He broadens the evidence that investing in capital markets of all kinds in the modern free-market economy is inherently unstable-subject to the profoundly human influences captured in Alan Greenspan's now-famous phrase, "irrational exuberance."

The ultimate solution to this troubling condition, he maintains, would involve better-designed public institutions such as a revamped social security system, new forms of insurance to protect people's incomes and homes, and a broader array of investment options. As was true of its predecessor, the second edition of Irrational Exuberance is destined to be widely read, discussed, and debated.

Princeton University Press (Feb. 22, 2005)

The New Financial Order

Risk in the 21st Century

Robert Shiller

In his best-selling Irrational Exuberance, Robert Shiller cautioned that society's obsession with the stock market was fueling the volatility that has since made a roller coaster of the financial system. Less noted was Shiller's admonition that our infatuation with the stock market distracts us from more durable economic prospects. These lie in the hidden potential of real assets, such as income from our livelihoods and homes. But these "ordinary riches," so fundamental to our well-being, are increasingly exposed to the pervasive risks of a rapidly changing global economy. This compelling and important new book presents a fresh vision for hedging risk and securing our economic future.

Shiller describes six fundamental ideas for using modern information technology and advanced financial theory to temper basic risks that have been ignored by risk management institutions — risks to the value of our jobs and our homes, to the vitality of our communities, and to the very stability of national economies. Informed by a comprehensive risk information database, this new financial order would include global markets for trading risks and exploiting myriad new financial opportunities, from inequality insurance to intergenerational social security. Just as developments in insuring risks to life, health, and catastrophe have given us a quality of life unimaginable a century ago, so Shiller's plan for securing crucial assets promises to substantially enrich our condition.

Once again providing an enormous service, Shiller gives us a powerful means to convert our ordinary riches into a level of economic security, equity, and growth never before seen. And once again, what Robert Shiller says should be read and heeded by anyone with a stake in the economy.

Princeton University Press (April 2, 2003)

Topics

Robert tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Innovation in Finance and Markets

We are in the midst of an explosion of invention in financial products and instruments, driven mostly by advances in information technology, and Robert thinks this is just the beginning. He’s dedicated several chapters of his book, The New Financial Order, to creating new opportunities in finance and he’s started two successful companies to implement these ideas.

Bubbles & How Markets Work

Robert Shiller is the world’s greatest authority on bubbles. His prescient bestseller Irrational Exuberance predicted the collapse of the 1990s bubble before it happened. More importantly, Robert knows why it happened — no one understands market volatility and the psychology that drives market swings better. At the same time, he argues, bubbles are not the big bugaboo that they’re hyped up to be. This makes him especially valuable to pension-plan sponsors, endowment managers and anyone else that doesn’t want to get caught sitting on a speculative bubble when it bursts.

Finance and IT — how technology drives innovation

Information technology has made it vastly easier and cheaper to create new financial products and to develop the electronic databases they require. At the same time, technology creates significant new risks to companies and individuals, because it’s evolving so rapidly and it’s so fundamentally important. Few people have plumbed the opportunities and dangers that the confluence of finance and IT has created as deeply as Robert Shiller.

Insurance — an inspirational field for innovation

We tend to think of insurance as a staid and even dismal industry to be in. Robert considers insurance as potentially the source of the most inspirational financial products imaginable. He focuses on saving real people from terrible personal disasters, real companies from corporate catastrophes, with cutting edge innovations that make real money. What could be more exciting? He will inspire audiences in this industry.

Videos

2014 Annual Bank Convention | Mexico

Feedback

A major global bank:
It was great having Bob Shiller with us for the conference. We had the most fantastic economic debate which received outstanding feedback from the delegates, so thank you for helping to facilitate this for us. I hope that we can have another opportunity to invite Bob back to join us at future events.

A Canadian provincial chamber of commerce:
Robert Shiller was a great speaker and a total pleasure to work with. Our delegates really found his talk interesting and it certainly inspired conversation. We could not have asked for a more timely speaker, as things turned out.

Thanks for all your help in setting this up…we’ll be starting to plan next year’s event early in the new year and may call on you again for one of the great economic thinkers you represent.

Articles

— The New York Times
— MySlideRule
— Bloomberg View
— Project Syndicate
— The New York Times
— Business Insider
— Project Syndicate
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— Project Syndicate
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— The Wall Street Journal
— Project Syndicate
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— Project Syndicate
— MarketWatch
— Bloomberg View
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— The New York Times
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— Project Syndicate
— Project Syndicate
— Yale Insights
— The New York Times
— Business Insider
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— Project Syndicate
— The Wall Street Journal
— The New York Times
— The New York Times