100 books like Animal Spirits

By George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller,

Here are 100 books that Animal Spirits fans have personally recommended if you like Animal Spirits. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Liar's Poker

Paddy Hirsch Author Of The Devil's Half Mile

From my list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a career financial and business journalist, only recently turned novelist. I’m obsessed with the way that history repeats itself in the financial markets and that we never seem to learn our lessons. Fear and greed have always driven the behavior of bankers, traders, and investors; and they still do today, only barely inhibited by our regulatory system. I want to help people understand how markets work, and I like combining fiction with fact to explain these systems and how they’re abused. With that in mind, I work during the day as a reporter at NPR and by night as a scribbler of historical fiction with a financial twist.

Paddy's book list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears)

Paddy Hirsch Why did Paddy love this book?

I love this book because it reads like a fictional tale about the modern financial markets, and yet it’s all absolutely true!

I am still staggered by some of the stories that Lewis tells about the real-life characters who worked on Wall Street back in the 1980s. And I’m in awe of the colorful way he describes and explains the way the bond markets work—no easy task.

Not only did he bring the go-go days of the 80s to life for me, but he also gave me a solid grounding in the machinations of the financial markets, helping me in both my writing and journalism careers.

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Liar's Poker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street's premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar's Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years-a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game…


Book cover of The Money Illusion

Helena Chytilová Author Of Economic Literacy and Money Illusion: An Experimental Perspective

From my list on economic reads about money illusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am associate professor at Prague University of Economics and Business. My passion is to discover blank spaces in the economy, for which standard mainstream economic models have not provided answers yet. I was usually fascinated by biased behavior of individuals, which might lead to substantial implications at aggregate level. This has led me to narrow my focus on behavioral macroeconomics with special emphasis on monetary theory and policy, vibrant field with a great potential. After all, experimental economics seems to be a wonderful tool to examine phenomena, which is hard to grasp or for which there is no available data, such as money illusion, coordination failure, bank runs or Modigliani-Cohn hypothesis. 

Helena's book list on economic reads about money illusion

Helena Chytilová Why did Helena love this book?

Similarly, like John Maynard Keynes is considered to be “father of macroeconomics”, Irving Fisher is considered to be “father of money illusion”, which is a failure to perceive that the dollar expands or shrinks in value.

Although this book is older, it is highly topical for me, because of the rapid development of behavioral macroeconomics, which brings back attention to the resurrected concept of money illusion.

Fisher remarkably demonstrates, with the help of illustrative examples, direct harm which might be experienced in real life by people who suffer from money illusion in financial markets or labor markets. Fisher uses persuasive case studies based on his own observations. 

He also utilizes money illusion and its indirect harms in order to explain the nature of the business cycle, in which case money is not neutral in the short run.

By Irving Fisher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Money Illusion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2011 reprint of 1928 edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. In economics, money illusion refers to the tendency of people to think of currency in nominal, rather than real, terms. This is a fallacy as modern fiat currencies have no inherent value and their real value is derived from their ability to be exchanged for goods and used for payment of taxes. The term was coined by John Maynard Keynes in the early twentieth century, and Irving Fisher 1928 book, The Money Illusion, is one of the most important works on the subject.


Book cover of The Money Illusion: Market Monetarism, the Great Recession, and the Future of Monetary Policy

Helena Chytilová Author Of Economic Literacy and Money Illusion: An Experimental Perspective

From my list on economic reads about money illusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am associate professor at Prague University of Economics and Business. My passion is to discover blank spaces in the economy, for which standard mainstream economic models have not provided answers yet. I was usually fascinated by biased behavior of individuals, which might lead to substantial implications at aggregate level. This has led me to narrow my focus on behavioral macroeconomics with special emphasis on monetary theory and policy, vibrant field with a great potential. After all, experimental economics seems to be a wonderful tool to examine phenomena, which is hard to grasp or for which there is no available data, such as money illusion, coordination failure, bank runs or Modigliani-Cohn hypothesis. 

Helena's book list on economic reads about money illusion

Helena Chytilová Why did Helena love this book?

I like this book especially due to its ability to illustrate money illusion in a very unconventional context.

Normally, money illusion means that people take nominal variables as proxy for real variables, which leads to suboptimal choice having real effects on the economy and affecting business cycle.

However, to my great surprise this book claims that even economic experts might suffer from some kind of money illusion, because they tend to misinterpret what is happening in the monetary system. This offers a very interesting explanation of recession and suggests that economists have not targeted adequate variables.

Unconventional suggestion to practice nominal GDP (gross domestic product) targeting instead of targeting the money supply is “outcome” of unique author´s vision called market monetarism. Inattention of policymakers to development of nominal GDP is blamed to be the direct cause of recession. 

By Scott Sumner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Money Illusion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book-length work on market monetarism, written by its leading scholar.

Is it possible that the consensus around what caused the 2008 Great Recession is almost entirely wrong? It's happened before. Just as Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz led the economics community in the 1960s to reevaluate its view of what caused the Great Depression, the same may be happening now to our understanding of the first economic crisis of the 21st century.

Foregoing the usual relitigating of problems such as housing markets and banking crises, renowned monetary economist Scott Sumner argues that the Great Recession came down to…


Book cover of Behavioural Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy

Helena Chytilová Author Of Economic Literacy and Money Illusion: An Experimental Perspective

From my list on economic reads about money illusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am associate professor at Prague University of Economics and Business. My passion is to discover blank spaces in the economy, for which standard mainstream economic models have not provided answers yet. I was usually fascinated by biased behavior of individuals, which might lead to substantial implications at aggregate level. This has led me to narrow my focus on behavioral macroeconomics with special emphasis on monetary theory and policy, vibrant field with a great potential. After all, experimental economics seems to be a wonderful tool to examine phenomena, which is hard to grasp or for which there is no available data, such as money illusion, coordination failure, bank runs or Modigliani-Cohn hypothesis. 

Helena's book list on economic reads about money illusion

Helena Chytilová Why did Helena love this book?

This was an exciting reading for me. I find a great connection with Akerlof and Shiller’s book Animal Spirits.

This book admits, that people might have some cognitive limitations and use simple forecasting rules in order to make decisions with resulting implications at the aggregate level. As a result, there is great potential for the emerging, yet undiscovered discipline of behavioral macroeconomics.

Personally, for me, revolutionary element is the combination of bounded rationality and willingness to learn from past mistakes and consequent switch to better rules. This book introduces special behavioral macroeconomic model based on the dynamics of endogenous animal spirits, in which case waves of optimism and pessimism are responsible for the business cycle itself.

I find especially interesting the part devoted to the discussion of how central banks should approach inflation targeting in behavioral models with animal spirits.

By Paul De Grauwe, Yuemei Ji,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Behavioural Macroeconomics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Modern macroeconomics has been based on the paradigm of the rational individual capable of understanding the complexity of the world. This has created a very shallow theory of the business cycle in which nothing happens in the macroeconomy unless shocks occur from outside. Behavioural Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy uses a different paradigm. It assumes that individual agents experience cognitive limitations preventing them from having rational
expectations. Instead these individuals use simple rules of behaviour.

Behavioural Macroeconomics introduces rationality by allowing individuals to learn from their mistakes and to switch to the rules that perform better. It introduces the idea of…


Book cover of Money Illusion and Strategic Complementarity as Causes of Monetary Non-Neutrality

Helena Chytilová Author Of Economic Literacy and Money Illusion: An Experimental Perspective

From my list on economic reads about money illusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am associate professor at Prague University of Economics and Business. My passion is to discover blank spaces in the economy, for which standard mainstream economic models have not provided answers yet. I was usually fascinated by biased behavior of individuals, which might lead to substantial implications at aggregate level. This has led me to narrow my focus on behavioral macroeconomics with special emphasis on monetary theory and policy, vibrant field with a great potential. After all, experimental economics seems to be a wonderful tool to examine phenomena, which is hard to grasp or for which there is no available data, such as money illusion, coordination failure, bank runs or Modigliani-Cohn hypothesis. 

Helena's book list on economic reads about money illusion

Helena Chytilová Why did Helena love this book?

This book is more scientific, but very interesting if you like to dig more into the depth of money illusion backed by its experimental investigation.

The old concept of money illusion is updated and transformed into its modern version, which is built on the principle of strategic complementarity. In this case, even a negligible individual money illusion suffered by only few agents might multiply effects of money illusion at the aggregate level due to a well-known mainstream concept called coordination failure. Modern money illusion might be responsible for substantial effects at the aggregate level.

For me, this book is very appealing, since the non-neutrality of money in the short run is explained in an alternative way, but it does not deny standard rational expectations theory.

By Jean-Robert Tyran,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Money Illusion and Strategic Complementarity as Causes of Monetary Non-Neutrality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In principle, money illusion could explain the inertial adjustment of prices after changes of monetary policy. Hence, money illusion could provide an explanation of monetary non-neutrality. However, this explanation has been thoroughly discredited in modern economics. As a consequence, economists have ever since the 1970s searched for alternative explanations for nominal rigidity. These explanations are all based on the assumption of fully rational economic agents, holding rational expectations. This book argues that money illusion has been prematurely dismissed as an explanation of monetary non-neutrality. Methods of experimental economics are used to investigate the real aggregate effects of money illusion. It…


Book cover of Partial Hegemony: Oil Politics and International Order

Amy Myers Jaffe Author Of Oil, Dollars, Debt, and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold

From my list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a business journalist writing about Arab finance and oil at a time when few women were in that industry. Rather improbably, perhaps, I became well-known for correctly predicting trends – geopolitical and geo-economical. In my thirties, I shifted to the academy, becoming a director of energy research at Rice University in Houston and subsequently a sought-after advisor to government, corporations, and financial institutions. I wrote my first paper on oil crises while in high school (winning third prize in a state term paper contest) and have never left the subject. Now more than ever, the public needs to understand the real facts behind oil and financial crises. 

Amy's book list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time

Amy Myers Jaffe Why did Amy love this book?

Most international relations scholars see oil as a side show that doesn’t fit into their big picture balance of power paradigms.

Colgan breaks the mold to narrate how the history of oil crises reveals core truths about international relations and how different-sized countries can use coercion within a subsystem to assert influence over larger powers.

Colgan attacks his field’s Mearsheimerisque, longstanding premise that military security and strategic considerations exclusively drive geopolitical relations. Instead, he utilizes oil geopolitics as a subsystem to show how countries coerce each other through a larger variety of means (military, economic, and leadership selection, to name three) with a wider variety of goals.

In my view, Colgan’s subsystem model allows for a deeper understanding of what motivates countries and what tools they have to influence each other to gain strategic benefits.   

By Jeff D. Colgan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Partial Hegemony as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The global history of oil politics, from World War I to the present, can teach us much about world politics, climate change, and international order in the twenty-first century.

When and why does international order change? The largest peaceful transfer of wealth across borders in all of human history began with the oil crisis of 1973. OPEC countries turned the tables on the most powerful businesses on the planet, quadrupling the price of oil and shifting the global distribution of profits. It represented a huge shift in international order. Yet, the textbook explanation for how world politics works-that the most…


Book cover of Oil, the State, and War: The Foreign Policies of Petrostates

Amy Myers Jaffe Author Of Oil, Dollars, Debt, and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold

From my list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a business journalist writing about Arab finance and oil at a time when few women were in that industry. Rather improbably, perhaps, I became well-known for correctly predicting trends – geopolitical and geo-economical. In my thirties, I shifted to the academy, becoming a director of energy research at Rice University in Houston and subsequently a sought-after advisor to government, corporations, and financial institutions. I wrote my first paper on oil crises while in high school (winning third prize in a state term paper contest) and have never left the subject. Now more than ever, the public needs to understand the real facts behind oil and financial crises. 

Amy's book list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time

Amy Myers Jaffe Why did Amy love this book?

There are many books that attempt to demonstrate a link between oil and war, and anyone who watches the news knows intuitively that such a link likely exists.

Ashford’s book lays out in brilliant detail how oil wealth is in some cases largely spent on military equipment (p. 74 to 81 covers Russia’s military modernization) and rightly asks the question if all this purchasing of armaments creates a “lubricant” to war. But she keeps open the option that the oil wealth-war connection is not destiny.

In closing chapters, she offers a few cases where oil states have chosen to use “soft power” and muses in the end that as oil’s days eclipse with the energy transition, the oil-war connection might similarly fade.  

By Emma Ashford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oil, the State, and War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A comprehensive challenge to prevailing understanding of international implications of oil wealth that shows why it can create bad actors

In a world where oil-rich states are more likely to start war than their oil-dependent counterparts, it's surprising how little attention is still paid to these so-called petrostates. These states' wealth props up the global arms trade, provides diplomatic leverage, and allows them to support violent and nonviolent proxies. In Oil, the State, and War, Emma Ashford explores the many potential links between domestic oil production and foreign policy behavior and how oil production influences global politics.

Not all petrostates…


Book cover of Market Madness: A Century of Oil Panics, Crises, and Crashes

Amy Myers Jaffe Author Of Oil, Dollars, Debt, and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold

From my list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a business journalist writing about Arab finance and oil at a time when few women were in that industry. Rather improbably, perhaps, I became well-known for correctly predicting trends – geopolitical and geo-economical. In my thirties, I shifted to the academy, becoming a director of energy research at Rice University in Houston and subsequently a sought-after advisor to government, corporations, and financial institutions. I wrote my first paper on oil crises while in high school (winning third prize in a state term paper contest) and have never left the subject. Now more than ever, the public needs to understand the real facts behind oil and financial crises. 

Amy's book list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time

Amy Myers Jaffe Why did Amy love this book?

For as long as I can remember, the oil industry has been saying oil is a finite resource and we are only a few years away from running dry.

It may be confusing to fathom how an industry can keep repeating that meme and have it continue to be believable. The key is understanding the cyclical nature of oil exploration and development and how the long lead time it takes to drill for new oil can lag behind a sudden burst of economic prosperity that creates more demand for energy virtually overnight. In essence, every oil shortage will eventually be temporary.

Market Madness is one of the few oil books that gets that right and uses history to prove its point. The book takes you back to the time of Andrew Carnegie and doesn’t get sucked into the idea that “easy to find” oil will eventually run out, empowering the…

By Blake C. Clayton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Market Madness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stock market booms are cause for celebration. But when oil prices soar because supplies are failing to keep up with demand, the response is nearly always apocalyptic. Predictions of the end of oil can create anxiety on Wall Street and in Washington, stoking fears that production has hit a ceiling and prices will rise in perpetuity. Yet these dire visions have always proven wrong.

Market Madness is the story of four waves of American anxiety over the last 100 years about a looming end to oil reserves. Their sweeping pattern-as large price increases lead to widespread shortage fears that eventually…


Book cover of The Making Of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy Of American Empire

Robert Chernomas Author Of Neoliberal Lives: Work, Politics, Nature, and Health in the Contemporary United States

From my list on class warfare and that the wrong class is winning.

Why am I passionate about this?

Neoliberalism and I have grown up in opposition to one another over the past four decades. As a professor of economics, union, and political activist I have observed, wrote about, and resisted its effects on the life chances of the great majority of its citizens with particular focus on the United States as its primary protagonist and gatekeeper. The opposition to this transformative epoch included writing about the significant contributions of my profession to Neoliberal economics in two previous books; The Profit Doctrine: The Economists of the Neoliberal Era and Economics in the 21st Century: A Critical Perspective.

Robert's book list on class warfare and that the wrong class is winning

Robert Chernomas Why did Robert love this book?

This book adds the international dimension to the Neoliberal story. Gindin and Panitch argue that the U.S. national state and “American MNCs” found key allies abroad among many dominant groups, as various state elites and dominant class fractions worldwide stood to gain through neoliberal reforms. The authors argue that supranational organizations developed largely along U.S. strategic lines. They explain for example how U.S. representatives hold inordinate influence through supranational forums such as the Bank for International Settlements, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund. Furthermore, legal reforms (with U.S. support) have been made in many countries to limit the influence that voters have on economic policy with, for example, the de-politicization of trade policy. This is the story we tell for the U.S. writ large.

By Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Making Of Global Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The all-encompassing embrace of world capitalism at the beginning of the twenty-first century was generally attributed to the superiority of competitive markets. Globalization had appeared to be the natural outcome of this unstoppable process. But today, with global markets roiling and increasingly reliant on state intervention to stay afloat, it has become clear that markets and states aren't straightforwardly opposing forces.

In this groundbreaking work, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin demonstrate the intimate relationship between modern capitalism and the American state. The Making of Global Capitalism identifies the centrality of the social conflicts that occur within states rather than between…


Book cover of Six Capitals, or Can Accountants Save the Planet?: Rethinking Capitalism for the Twenty-First Century

John Montgomery Author Of Net Zero Business Models: Winning in the Global Net Zero Economy

From my list on creating a sustainable economy for our children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a corporate lawyer, I saw first-hand that corporations lack a comprehensive social and environmental conscience. I had begun to experiment with articles and bylaws when I met one of the founders of B-Lab, the creator of the B-Corp and architect behind the benefit corporation, in 2008. I have been working to upgrade the operating principles of the economy ever since. I was the co-chair of the legal working group for California’s benefit corporation legislation and my former law firm was one of the first law firms to become a B Corp. I’m highly motivated to leave a habitable planet to our children and grandchildren.

John's book list on creating a sustainable economy for our children

John Montgomery Why did John love this book?

I was skeptical that a book about accounting could be entertaining. 

Jane Gleason-White not only brings the history of double book entry accounting alive but also tells the story of how accountants are quietly leading the transformation to a sustainable economy. This transformation demands that we upgrade traditional accounting that only accounts for financial and industrial capital to account for benefits and detriments to the natural world and society. 

To support a sustainable economy, accounting systems must include four additional categories of capital: intellectual, human, social, and relationship. A sustainable economy not only requires new economic principles and new corporate forms, but new accounting systems that account for all six capitals. 

By Jane Gleeson-White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Six Capitals, or Can Accountants Save the Planet? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the story of a twenty-first-century revolution being led by the most unlikely of rebels: accountants. Only the second revolution in accounting since double-entry bookkeeping began, it is of seismic proportions, driven by the 2008 financial crash and our ongoing environmental crisis. The changes it will wreak are profound and far-reaching and not only will transform the way the world does business but also will alter the nature of capitalism.

While the wealth of nations and corporations has been vital to the global economy, increasingly the world is coming to realize that such endless growth is limited by the…


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