Nobel Prize Talks: Robert J. Shiller
Having predicted two financial bubbles, Robert Shiller has received much attention. In this conversation the 2013 Laureate in Economic Sciences talks about the need to prevent increasing economic inequality, and how he believes artificial intelligence will transform our lives completely in the future. Shiller also discusses how he teaches an online course to more than 100 000 students, and why the news media seems to love that word ‘bubble’.
Interview, December 2013
Interview with 2013 Laureate in Economic Sciences Robert J. Shiller, 6 December 2013.
Robert J. Shiller explains his work to young students.
Robert J. Shiller on learning he had been awarded the Prize.
Robert J. Shiller on what brought him to economic sciences.
Robert J. Shiller on the eureka moment.
Robert J. Shiller on the many people that contributed to his awarded work.
Robert J. Shiller on role models and influences.
Robert J. Shiller on the Nobel Prizes.Copyright © Nobel Media AB 2013
The 2013 Nobel Laureates met at the Grünewald Hall in the Stockholm Concert Hall in Stockholm on 11 December 2013 for the traditional round-table discussion and TV program ‘Nobel Minds’. The Nobel Laureates discussed the discoveries for which they’ve been honored, how these can be applied in a practical way, and the role of science in today’s society. The discussion was hosted by Zeinab Badawi of the BBC.
Robert J. Shiller, 2013 Laureate in Economic Sciences, is interviewed by Anna Hedenmo during the Nobel Banquet on 10 December 2013. In this short interview, Robert J. Shiller talks about the Prize Award Ceremony, if there’s a house bubble in Sweden, investing in real estate and if his psychologist wife has affected his research and conclusions.
Telephone interview with Robert J. Shiller recorded immediately following the announcement of the 2013 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, 14 October 2013. The interviewer is Nobelprize.org’s Adam Smith.
[AS] Hello, may I speak to Robert Shiller please?
[AS] Hello, my name’s Adam Smith. I’m calling from Nobelprize.org, the official website of the Nobel Prize in Stockholm.
[RS] Oh okay.
[AS] We have a tradition of recording very short interviews with new Laureates – could we just speak for a few minutes?
[AS] Thank you very much indeed. Well first of all, many congratulations on the Prize.
[RS] Thank you.
[AS] How did you hear the news?
[RS] I was getting ready to leave on a trip to Phoenix, Arizona, getting dressed, and I got called.
[AS] (laughs) And, what was your first reaction?
[AS] Do you think the trip to Phoenix is going to go ahead?
[RS] Well, it’s at least postponed and it may be cancelled.
[AS] How do you think the day is going to pan out? (laughs)
[RS] (laughs) I don’t know, the phone is ringing an awful lot.
[AS] (laughs) Have you imagined yourself in this position before? Have you imagined how you might react to it if the news came?
[RS] Well, I certainly imagined, because friends of mine repeatedly tell me they think that … they expect me to win it. But I’ve always reflected that there are so many worthy people, that it’s difficult to … I thought it was a very low probability.
[AS] Who was the first person you told, after the household?
[RS] I woke my wife up and told her. Then I told the limo driver to cancel my limo.
[AS] Very practical. (laughs)
[RS] Well, I had to do it!
[AS] But, I just wanted to ask you how, just one question, because this is going to expose your field of research to a very wide audience, who won’t previously have been aware of it. It’s all to do with the predictability of asset pricing. How good a handle do you think we have on that? Do you think it’s very much a work-in-progress or have we got things pretty well worked out?
[RS] It’s very much a work-in-progress, yeah. I could briefly say that it’s … we’ve learned a lot about asset pricing, but there’s a basic human element in it that is irreducible. So, predicting what asset prices will do is partly similar to trying to predict what one person will do, and so could there ever be a science in predicting what you, Adam, will be doing? No, because there’s an irreducible human element. And that’s part of the reason why the field of finance will never completely understand asset pricing movements.
[AS] That was a lovely, very understandable comment. Thank you very much indeed.
[RS] Alright. (laughs)
[AS] Okay, so I look forward to talking again, at length, later in the autumn ([RS] Good). But for now, let me wish you a wonderful day, and congratulations.
[AS] Thank you.
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