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Irrational Exuberance 3rd edition Revised and Expanded Third Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691166261
ISBN-10: 0691166269
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Editorial Reviews


Robert J. Shiller, Co-Winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics

A New York Times Bestseller

Winner of the 2000 Commonfund Prize for the Best Contribution to Endowment Management Research

"Robert J. Shiller . . . Has done more than any other economist of his generation to document the less rational aspects of financial markets."--Paul Krugman, New York Times

"Irrational Exuberance is not just a prophecy of doom. . . . [I]t is a serious attempt to explain how speculative bubbles come about and how they sustain themselves."--John Cassidy, New Yorker

"What set off this speculation and what feeds it? Shiller ranges widely his explanations, laying them out in the first 168 pages in easy-to-read, sometimes passionate prose. . . . [T]hose first 168 pages are must reading for anyone with savings invested in stocks."--Louis Uchitelle, New York Times Book Review

"Mr. Shiller's book offers a dose of realism. . . . [I]t presents a message investors would be wise to head: Make sure your portfolio is adequately diversified. Save more and don't count on double-digit gains of the past decades continuing to bail you out during retirement."--Burton G. Malkiel, Wall Street Journal

"Informative and well-argued . . . A calm and reasonable antidote to today's euphoria."--Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books

"Although its message may be unwelcome to many, this important book should be read by anyone interested in economics or the stock markets."--Rene M. Stulz, Science

"Dazzling, richly textured, provocative . . By far the most important book about the stock market since Jeremy J. Siegel's Stocks for the Long Run."--William Wolman, Business Week

"Shiller has provided an accessible guide to the usually impenetrable literature on financial markets, especially the American stock market."--Foreign Affairs

"Shiller contends that investor psychology is so given to herd behavior that it's almost impossible to manipulate or even influence. The market can 'go through significant mispricing lasting years or even decades.'"--Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post

"Irrational Exuberance should be compulsory reading for anybody interested in Wall Street or financially exposed to it; at the moment, that would be roughly everybody in the United States."--Economist

"[An] excellent new book. . . . If you want to preserve capital, unload most of your stocks and invest in government bonds."--Steve H. Hanke, Forbes

"Likely to be the year's most-talked-about finance book. . . . You can agree or disagree with it. But you owe it to yourself to read it if you are investing in equities or contemplating doing so."--Fred Barbash, International Herald Tribune

"Irrational Exuberance is likely to cause a stir. . . . Shiller illustrates how the current market is like a naturally occurring Ponzi scheme in which investors become promoters for the game after receiving initial payments with money taken from subsequent investors."--David Henry, USA Today

"Irrational Exuberance is not billed as a personal finance book. But it is. You can agree or disagree with it. But you owe it to yourself to read it if you're investing, or contemplating investing, in inequities."--The Washington Post

"A must-read . . . Refreshing, well-reasoned . . . And very readable."--Michael P. Niemira, Barron's

"So why have share prices soared so high in the past five years, taking market valuations past all historical records? Professor Shiller's answer, as the title indicates, is not encouraging. His message is: diversify now as much as you can, and batten down the hatches."--Diane Coyle, Independent

"Shiller has written a crystal-clear and tough-minded critique."--David Warsh, Boston Globe

"The point of Irrational Exuberance is not to help investors dump their houses before the current exuberance fades. It is to deepen our understanding of the events we are watching as one bubble gives birth to another and to encourage readers to think about economic behavior and economic policies that can cushion the nasty side of volatility."--Sharon Reier, The International Herald Tribune

"The first edition of this book was widely read because of its timing. This one, too, seems perfectly timed, coming when we're starting to fear we've been fooling ourselves. Again. . . . There's a world of important information for everyone."--Lyn Miller, USA Today

"The second edition's new component . . . is Shiller's exploration of how market psychology has responded to the ensuing five years of retrenchment. One chilling conclusion he reaches from his knowledge of past market performance is that the 2005 market may still be correcting and that a return to 2000 levels may be a decade away. He further warns that many investors are still too heavily invested in equities and that proposals to invest Social Security funds in the stock market would subject the retirement system to unacceptable risk. Shiller expands his focus to include the booming real estate market where he sees another speculative bubble building."--Library Journal

"There's plenty of new material in this edition. . . . Chief among the new additions is Shiller's deeper focus on recent excesses in the stock market and his skepticism about investing in real estate. . . . . Shiller's ideas have so many devoted followers that I wouldn't be surprised to see many more editions."--Angele McQuade, BetterInvesting

"Yale University Professor Robert Shiller pretty much called the stock market drop when this book was first published in 2000. In this fact-packed book, Shiller describes the psychological origins of volatility, among other things. And in the newest edition, Shiller compares the recent housing boom to the stock market bubble of the 1990s."--Registered Rep.

"[Shiller] fully updates his argument here, adding new material (a chapter on the bond market, his 2013 Nobel lecture) and augmenting the text to reflect developments since the 2005 second edition. He vacuums up all manner of cultural phenomena, from the important (rising income inequality) to the possibly significant (Google Glass) to the trivial (Kim Kardashian), to reinforce his thesis, and he writes expressively, whether explaining arcane economic issues or illustrating how the story behind Mona Lisa's smile helps account for the painting's astonishing market value. A rare example of economic analysis, deeply respected within the discipline, wholly accessible to general readers."--Kirkus

"A superb, well-written, well-argued contribution for serious scholars and practitioners, whether they agree with Shiller or not."--Choice

About the Author

Robert J. Shiller, the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in economics, is a bestselling author, a regular contributor to the Economic View column of the New York Times, and a professor of economics at Yale University. For more information, please go to .

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Revised and Expanded Third edition (January 25, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691166269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691166261
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This first edition of this book, in 2000, was a broad study, drawing on a wide range of published research and historical evidence, of the enormous stock market boom that started around 1982 and picked up incredible speed after 1995. The book argued that the boom represented a speculative bubble, not grounded in sensible economic fundamentals. The second edition, in 2005, added an analysis of the real estate bubble as similar to the stock market bubble that preceded it, and warned that "Significant further rises in these markets could lead, eventually, to even more significant declines." Alas, both predictions turned out to be true, as we now all know.

Will history repeat itself with this third volume? That is hard to say. In this latest edition, Professor Shiller updates his argument, and augments the text to reflect developments since the 2005 second edition. Of particular interest, he adds an important new chapter on the bond market, which many feel is also in bubble territory. The good news is that, while Professor Shiller says that returns in all asset classes are likely to be subpar for some years given today's elevated asset prices, the mood is less somber than in previous editions, and there are no warnings of imminent doom, as in previous editions. In particular, he does not see a classic "bubble" in bonds, due to the lack of "exuberance" -- prices for bonds are being bid up reluctantly by investors, he says, which is not the formula for a bubble. However, he certainly balances that somewhat comforting news with a realistic view of the risks that the current situation presents to investors and savers of all types, stocks, bonds, housing, and savings accounts.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first edition of Irrational Exuberance warned of a stock market bubble. The key takeaway was to diversify. A few months later the dot com bubble crashed and stocks corrected.

The second edition of Irrational Exuberance warned of a housing market bubble. The key takeaway was to diversify. A few years later, the sub-prime crisis hit and both stocks and house prices corrected.

This, the third edition, warns about a number of things. And there seems to be no place to hide. Interest rates on bonds are historically low and unattractive. US stock prices are high. Yet historically speaking, Shiller thinks stocks could continue to rise higher for a while longer. Housing prices have rebounded in the US and are at bubble levels in other countries. The key takeaway seems to be we should hedge risks, and invest in assets that correlate negatively with labor income. The only concrete hedging suggestions from Shiller sadly all come with significant complexity and a heavy time premium.

While it might seem preposterous to state that we are in a bubble so recently after two other bubbles popped, Shiller reassures us that it is perfectly normal for markets to collapse, then recover, only to collapse again shortly thereafter. The example given is the lead up to the great depression.

There is not much new content in the third edition, compared to the excellent previous edition. A new preface, a new chapter on bonds (chapter 2), some additional precipitating factors at the end of chapter four, and a revised call to action in chapter 13.

The chapter on bonds is seven pages long, and mostly highlights what is well known, which is that bonds are currently an unattractive diversification strategy. Shiller states bonds are not technically in a bubble, because they are being so reluctantly purchased. Yet there is still a significant downside risk to holding long term bonds.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This reviewer remembers having read the first edition of this book back when it first came out in either 1999 or 2000, just before the stock market crash of 2000-2001. It did a very good job at providing historical perspective regarding long-term values in the stock market. It, correctly, pointed out that the stock market was overpriced and that a decline would be reasonable to expect. And so it happened.

Since then, bubbles have also burst in the housing market worldwide as well as the stock markets. In addition, commodity markets have taken on many of the speculative characteristics of equity and housing markets, characteristics that they have not had, at least to the extent of the equity and housing markets, in the past. Bubbles in these markets were not discussed in the first edition of the book. For this reason this reviewer purchased this edition of Dr. Schiller's book - to obtain historical perspective on the housing markets, equity markets since 2000 and commodity prices. The book, in short, provides very good historical perspective on the first two of these (housing and equity markets) but, unfortunately, not too much regarding commodity markets. It discusses long term trends and cyclical bubbles in their historical context. For this reason alone this book should be read by serious investors and students of both economics and finance. As Aristotle once said "A man with no perspective has no value".

In addition to providing historical context in regard to these markets, the book also does an excellent job at explaining, through the lens of economic psychology, why bubbles occur. The primary reason is that there is human interaction, that taken on the aggregate, influences the market as a whole.
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