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Irrational Exuberance: Revised and Expanded Third Edition Paperback – August 16, 2016

4.4 out of 5 stars 542 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


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

"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." ―

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

"Shiller provides an excellent synthesis of all the evidence contradicting the efficient market hypothesis, especially how a form of irrational exuberance sometimes leads to price bubbles. . . . Without any doubt,
Irrational Exuberance must be read by anyone interested in finance. And it really can be read by anyone interested in finance because the genius of this book is to explain complex phenomena easily, avoiding specialist jargon, including mathematics."---David Le Bris, Journal of Economics

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

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Princeton University Press; 3rd edition (August 16, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 392 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0691173125
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0691173122
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.3 x 1.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 542 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
542 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 29, 2018
39 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2015
135 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2018
15 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on April 2, 2022
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2.0 out of 5 stars Way too abstract, no clear answers in 270 pages
Reviewed in the United States on April 2, 2022
If you’re looking for a clear and to-the-point analysis of bubbles and the dynamics of the stock market, answers to questions such as what drives prices and forces in the market, with clear conclusions and findings that leave you equipped with practical investment skills and knowledge, this book is NOT for you.
The writing style of Shiller is very very academic (as it should be excepted from a professor), and that makes this book a very tough read. He approaches every topic from 10 angles, and leaves you very confused as to what to believe, almost always lacking clear conclusion at the end of the discussion of any topic.
Ultimately, the net message of this book is, that the stock market is unpredictable, the efficient market theory has substantial flaws, and that bubbles are mostly driven by the uncontrolled, emotional behavior of market participants, who act unpredictably and irrationally, and therefore drive the market into unpredictable terrain. Essentially, put simply, his argument is that FOMO (fear of missing out), paired with sensational and irrational news reporting about market events, is what really drives prices in the market. The book leaves you thinking nothing is predicable in the stock market, people are practicing irrational exuberance especially in times of bubbles, and there is nothing one can do about it. The stock market is a hot mess, is really what this book is trying to convey. It is not helpful in the search for answers and for the most part a tiring and boring read. I forced myself reading to the end in the search for clear answers, and I was left disappointed.
That said, to end on a positive note, maybe the stock market is indeed that - unpredictable and irrationally exuberant. And that might be an important fact that deserves elaboration, but it should not take 270 pages to get to that conclusion.

Lastly, the font size is tiny in this book. I have never owned a book with such small font size.
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Top reviews from other countries

1.0 out of 5 stars font type is much too small and pale!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2019
5 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 4, 2016
2 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent analysis of why markets fail and our role in that failure.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 12, 2020
Patrick Walsh
3.0 out of 5 stars Distinctly lacking pleasurable reading exuberance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2016
5 people found this helpful
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3.0 out of 5 stars So & so
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 25, 2018
One person found this helpful
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