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Publisher's Summary

In this bold and potentially urgent volume, Robert J. Shiller, a respected expert on market volatility, offers an unconventional interpretation of recent U.S. stock market highs and shows that Alan Greenspan's term "irrational exuberance" is a good description of the mood behind the market. He warns that poorer performance may be in the offing and tells us how we - as a society and individually - can respond.

Shiller credits an unprecedented confluence of events with driving stocks to uncharted heights. He analyzes the structural and psychological factors that explain why the Dow Jones Industrial Average tripled between 1994 and 1999, a level of growth not reflected in any other sector of the economy. In contrast to many analysts, Shiller stresses circumstances that alter investors' perceptions of the market. These include the entry of the Internet into American homes, the misimpression that the aging of the baby-boom generation builds long-term protection into the market, and herd behavior, such as day-trading. He also examines cultural factors, including sports-style media coverage of the Dow's ups and downs and "new era" thinking about the economy. He considers - and challenges - efforts to rationalize exuberance that are based on either efficient-markets theory, narrowly construed, or the claim that investors have only recently learned the true value of the market.

Irrational Exuberance is a must-listen for individual investors as well as investment professionals, pension-plan sponsors, and endowment managers everywhere. It will be studied by policy makers and anyone from Wall Street to Main Street who doesn't want to be caught sitting on the speculative bubble if (or when) it bursts.

Hear an exclusive interview with Robert J. Shiller.

©2000 Robert J. Shiller
(P)2000 Random House, Inc

Critic Reviews

  • Nominee for Audio Publishers Association 2001 Audie Award, Business Information

"No one has explored the strange behavior of the American investor in the 1990s with more authority¿" The New York Times

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Timothy
  • Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  • 09-23-04

Very academic, but thorough and informative

This audiobook is not for the faint of heart!

This is an academic overiew of behavioral finance. Not as thorough as a textbook, but it has the same flavor. With the acadmic perspective without the thoroughnes of an academic text, it reads like a litnay of hypothesis about the 'irrationality' of the stock market interspersed with anecdotal statistics and historical examples.

The book has a very one-sided view of the central controversy in the economics of Finance, which is the rationlity of the financial markets. His strong endorsement of behavorial finance and emphatic rejection of Efficient Market Theory detract from the power of some of the hypothesis he puts forward.

Because it is abridged, I cannot say if the book lost much in the abridgement. Being read by the author (a Yale economics professor), I would hope that this version keeps the essence of the unabridged text.

If you can survive what seems, at times, an interminable academic lecture, this book does offer lots of facts and insights useful to understanding how the financial markets funtion.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

in plain english

great explanation of "what happened" during the bubble years and a must hear for anyone that invests.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A good introduction to Market behaviour

I listened to the book twice, only to digest the material once again.
It was very captivating to see how complex things are and how people
try to explain in very simplistic terms. I wish I had listened to
this book even earlier as it is a necessary book (in my opinion) to
one's own understanding of investing and its rewards.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Zhengyuan
  • UPLAND, CA, United States
  • 05-18-18

performer with a lisp

the book is fine. But can you guys vet the performer before giving them the money?

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • cifey
  • Houston, Tx United States
  • 04-26-18

Wholistic view of the stock markets role in societ

Schiller expressed an interesting and wholistic if somewhat pesimistic view of the role of the stock market in society, And how it might be reshaped for more social benefit.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Everyone should read/listen

The sound quality deteriorated at one point though its difficult to say whether it was a problem my end or the recording.
The content is very relevant at the moment with the cryptocurrency exuberance

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Book

This book is great to understand the stock market. I love how the writer explain everything!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Surprised it is written by Robert Shiller

Any additional comments?

I'm surprised that Robert Shiller could create such messy book. Even back when it was written, the discussion of behavioral economics vs. efficient market hypothesis was in full swing. So I'm surprised that he manages to missrepresent both of these economic theories. Moreover, the book is filled with logical fallacies, every second chapter he contradicts himself, using the same arguments but with a different conclusion.

Two of many examples:
Efficient markets does not imply a random walk (a random walk is sufficient but not necessary for the efficient market hypothesis to hold).
Stocks have outperformed bonds, not just in real terms, but also in risk-adjusted returns. This is the whole premise of the equity premium puzzle.

[Finally, the academic in me still wonders, do bubbles even exists? He doesn't even answer the basic premise of the book, do bubbles exist? What definition is he using?]

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very Dense But Highly Informative and Relevant

I loved this book a lot despite some significant defects that may bother others. Remember that this book is abridged; as such I am not aware which subjects received more relevant coverage in the unabridged edition.

Shiller's performance is adequate. He sounds exactly like you'd expect a financial academic to sound like but his narration isn't without some merit. He doesn't marshall the pacing and drama that a professional narration might and his nasal, nerd voice might turn off some.

The book is excellent despite it's academic density. However, there were still plenty of times where I had to rewind in order to unpack certain concepts.

His application of cognitive psychology waaaaaaay back in 2000 put him in the forefront of a still neglected economic field.

In this book he explodes the common myths about stock markets such as: they are always optimally and rationally priced; experts always know what they are doing; people can predict the future moves of the market and many others.

A valuable and still relevant text that helps illuminate the nature of speculative bubbles.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

pay attention.

loved it. it doesn't get much better than this. I want expert investor criticism. please write a critique

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Judy Corstjens
  • 12-14-13

My mistake - audioer beware!

I clicked this into my library without realising a) that it was abridged and b) that it is the 2000 edition not the 2005 revised edition. In other words, in my appreciation this purchase is a complete mistake. Why would the 2000 edition even still be in stock, once the post-2001 crash version is available? I'm going to try and send this book back.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 01-18-18

Sensible and thought-proviking analysis of markets

This book was written just before the dot com crash of 2000-2002, which lends force to it's prophetic arguments against the complacent assumptions that dominated discussion of the markets at that time. Although inevitably much has changed since then, it's still worth a buy and a listen since many of the ideas that were fueling excess optimism in 2000 have started to be heard again, and whether or not you think there are direct parallels to be drawn to the present, the book is a persuasive caution against group-think in investing.

The author reads his own work, which IMO was perhaps not the best choice.