Published By: Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press ISBN: 978-0-691-15488-6 Date of Publication: 2012
Book Review Detail
Erin Todd Bronchetti of Swarthmore College
Review DOI: 10.1257/jel.51.2.544.r6 Review Pages: 555-57
Book Review Abstract
Erin Todd Bronchetti of Swarthmore College reviews, "Finance and the Good Society" by Robert J. Shiller. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: "Examines how finance, as a science, a practice, and a source of economic innovation, can be used to advance the goals of freedom, prosperity, equality, and economic security. Discusses chief executive officers; investment managers; bankers; investment bankers; mortgage lenders and securitizers; traders and marketmakers; insurers; market designers and financial engineers; derivatives providers; lawyers and financial advisers; lobbyists; regulators; accountants and auditors; educators; public goods financiers; policymakers in charge of stabilizing the economy; trustees and nonprofit managers; philanthropists; finance, mathematics, and beauty; categorizing people—financiers versus artists and other idealists; an impulse for risk taking; an impulse for conventionality and familiarity; debt and leverage; some unfortunate incentives to sleaziness inherent in finance; the significance of financial speculation; speculative bubbles and their costs to society; inequality and injustice; problems with philanthropy; the dispersal of ownership of capital; and the great illusion, then and now. Shiller is Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics at the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics and Professor of Finance with the International Center for Finance at Yale University."