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Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller and his new book.

Popular stories that go viral aren’t always frivolous. Some can move markets and drive decisions about how and when to invest. In an interview with ThinkAdvisor, a sister publication to Treasury & Risk, Yale economics professor and Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller argues for economists to pay more attention to what he terms “narrative economics.” As social media has expanded the volume and contagion of popular narratives, some have grown into full epidemics that “can change the economy’s direction,” Shiller maintains.

The bestselling author of “Irrational Exuberance” (2000), who predicted the dot-com debacle and the housing crisis, has a new book titled “Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events.” Joint winner of the 2013 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen, Shiller is also an entrepreneur: Since 2010, he has collaborated with Barclays Bank on a series of equity-sector indexes, which he and the firm design. In 2012, they introduced the Shiller Barclays CAPE Sector Index Family.

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