Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

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Review Essay: Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller

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Tags Taxes and SpendingInterventionismPolitical Theory

06/16/2016Mark Thornton

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 19, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 85–100

This book tells its readers a great deal about the inner workings of mainstream economics, particularly behavioral economics. This review details just how far the profession has drifted from reality. My general impression is that the authors are simply putting forth their opinions or perceptions of how the world should be, and then constructing a theory to justify those opinions. The theory is then supported by a selective construction of events.

The authors are both Nobel laureates and in 2009 wrote Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism. Here they argued that because of emotions and psychology, the government’s response to the financial crisis must be decisive and overwhelming. The government’s response, particularly the Federal Reserve’s, gives the impression that the book was influential among policymakers.

 

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Cite This Article

Thornton, Mark, "Review Essay: Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller," Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 19, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 85–100

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