Robert J. Shiller

Last updated
Robert J. Shiller
Robert J. Shiller 2017.jpg
Shiller at a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen in July 2017
Born
Robert James Shiller

(1946-03-29) March 29, 1946 (age 75)
Institution Yale University
Field Financial economics
Behavioral finance
School or
tradition
New Keynesian economics
Behavioral economics
Alma mater Michigan (B.A. 1967)
MIT (Ph.D. 1972)
Doctoral
advisor
Franco Modigliani
Doctoral
students
John Y. Campbell [3]
Influences John Maynard Keynes
George Akerlof
Irving Fisher
Contributions Irrational Exuberance , Case-Shiller index
Awards Deutsche Bank Prize (2009) Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (2013)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc
Signature
Signature of Robert J Shiller.svg
Nobel Prize Laureate Robert J. Shiller during press conference in Stockholm, December 2013 Nobel Prize 5 2013.jpg
Nobel Prize Laureate Robert J. Shiller during press conference in Stockholm, December 2013

Robert James Shiller (born March 29, 1946) [4] is an American economist (Nobel Laureate in 2013), academic, and best-selling author. As of 2019, he serves as a Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and is a fellow at the Yale School of Management's International Center for Finance. [5] Shiller has been a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) since 1980, was vice president of the American Economic Association in 2005, its president-elect for 2016, and president of the Eastern Economic Association for 2006–2007. [6] He is also the co‑founder and chief economist of the investment management firm MacroMarkets LLC.

Contents

Shiller was ranked by the IDEAS RePEc publications monitor in 2008 as among the 100 most influential economists of the world; [7] and was still on the list in 2019. [8] Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Shiller jointly received the 2013 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, "for their empirical analysis of asset prices". [9] [10]

Background

Shiller was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Ruth R. (née Radsville) and Benjamin Peter Shiller, an engineer-come-entrepreneur. [11] He is of Lithuanian descent. [12] He is married to Virginia Marie (Faulstich), a psychologist, and has two children. [11] He was raised as a Methodist. [13]

Shiller attended Kalamazoo College for two years before transferring to the University of Michigan where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. degree in 1967. [14] He received the S.M. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1968, and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1972 with thesis entitled Rational expectations and the structure of interest rates under the supervision of Franco Modigliani. [2]

Family

All four of Shiller's grandparents came to America from Lithuania in 1906–1910. Shiller remains in contact with some of his relatives in Lithuania because both of his grandmothers corresponded by mail with their families back home their entire lives. Although he has admitted that Lithuania is largely a foreign country to him, Shiller is an honorary professor at ISM University of Management and Economics (Vilnius, Lithuania) and has given several open lectures at Vilnius and ISM Universities.

Career

Shiller has taught at Yale since 1982 and previously held faculty positions at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Minnesota, also giving frequent lectures at the London School of Economics. He has written on economic topics that range from behavioral finance to real estate to risk management, and has been co-organizer of NBER workshops on behavioral finance with Richard Thaler since 1991. His book Macro Markets won TIAA-CREF's first annual Paul A. Samuelson Award. He currently publishes a syndicated column and is a regular contributor to Project Syndicate since 2003.

In 1981 Shiller published an article in which he challenged the efficient-market hypothesis, which was the dominant view in the economics profession at the time. [15] Shiller argued that in a rational stock market, investors would base stock prices on the expected receipt of future dividends, discounted to a present value. He examined the performance of the U.S. stock market since the 1920s, and considered the kinds of expectations of future dividends and discount rates that could justify the wide range of variation experienced in the stock market. Shiller concluded that the volatility of the stock market was greater than could plausibly be explained by any rational view of the future. This article was later named as one of the "top 20" articles in the 100-year history of the American Economic Association.

The behavioral finance school gained new credibility following the October 1987 stock market crash. Shiller's work included survey research that asked investors and stock traders what motivated them to make trades; the results further bolstered his hypothesis that these decisions are often driven by emotion instead of rational calculation. Much of this survey data has been gathered continuously since 1989. [16]

Robert Shiller's plot of the S&P Composite Real Price Index, Earnings, Dividends, and Interest Rates, from Irrational Exuberance, 2d ed. In the preface to this edition, Shiller warns that "[t]he stock market has not come down to historical levels: the price-earnings ratio as I define it in this book is still, at this writing [2005], in the mid-20s, far higher than the historical average. ... People still place too much confidence in the markets and have too strong a belief that paying attention to the gyrations in their investments will someday make them rich, and so they do not make conservative preparations for possible bad outcomes." IE Real SandP Prices, Earnings, and Dividends 1871-2006.png
Robert Shiller's plot of the S&P Composite Real Price Index, Earnings, Dividends, and Interest Rates, from Irrational Exuberance , 2d ed. In the preface to this edition, Shiller warns that "[t]he stock market has not come down to historical levels: the price-earnings ratio as I define it in this book is still, at this writing [2005], in the mid‑20s, far higher than the historical average. ... People still place too much confidence in the markets and have too strong a belief that paying attention to the gyrations in their investments will someday make them rich, and so they do not make conservative preparations for possible bad outcomes."
Price-earnings ratios as a predictor of twenty-year returns based on the plot by Robert Shiller (Figure 10.1, ). The horizontal axis shows the real price-earnings ratio of the S&P Composite Stock Price Index as computed in Irrational Exuberance (inflation adjusted price divided by the prior ten-year mean of inflation-adjusted earnings). The vertical axis shows the geometric average real annual return on investing in the S&P Composite Stock Price Index, reinvesting dividends, and selling twenty years later. Data from different twenty-year periods is color-coded as shown in the key. See also ten-year returns. Shiller states that this plot "confirms that long-term investors - investors who commit their money to an investment for ten full years - did do well when prices were low relative to earnings at the beginning of the ten years. Long-term investors would be well advised, individually, to lower their exposure to the stock market when it is high, as it has been recently, and get into the market when it is low." Price-Earnings Ratios as a Predictor of Twenty-Year Returns (Shiller Data).png
Price-earnings ratios as a predictor of twenty-year returns based on the plot by Robert Shiller (Figure 10.1, ). The horizontal axis shows the real price-earnings ratio of the S&P Composite Stock Price Index as computed in Irrational Exuberance (inflation adjusted price divided by the prior ten-year mean of inflation-adjusted earnings). The vertical axis shows the geometric average real annual return on investing in the S&P Composite Stock Price Index, reinvesting dividends, and selling twenty years later. Data from different twenty-year periods is color-coded as shown in the key. See also ten-year returns. Shiller states that this plot "confirms that long-term investors – investors who commit their money to an investment for ten full years – did do well when prices were low relative to earnings at the beginning of the ten years. Long-term investors would be well advised, individually, to lower their exposure to the stock market when it is high, as it has been recently, and get into the market when it is low."

In 1991 he formed Case Shiller Weiss with economists Karl Case and Allan Weiss who served as the CEO from inception to the sale to Fiserv. [19] The company produced a repeat-sales index using home sales prices data from across the nation, studying home pricing trends. The index was developed by Shiller and Case when Case was studying unsustainable house pricing booms in Boston and Shiller was studying the behavioral aspects of economic bubbles. [19] The repeat-sales index developed by Case and Shiller was later acquired and further developed by Fiserv and Standard & Poor, creating the Case-Shiller index. [19]

His book Irrational Exuberance (2000) – a New York Times bestseller – warned that the stock market had become a bubble in March 2000 (the very height of the market top) which could lead to a sharp decline.

On CNBC's "How to Profit from the Real Estate Boom" in 2005, he noted that housing price rises could not outstrip inflation in the long term because, except for land restricted sites, house prices would tend toward building costs plus normal economic profit. Co‑panelist David Lereah disagreed. In February, Lereah had put out his book Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom? signaling the market top for housing prices. While Shiller repeated his precise timing again for another market bubble, because the general level of nationwide residential real estate prices do not reveal themselves until after a lag of about one year, people did not believe Shiller had called another top until late 2006 and early 2007.

Shiller was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2003. [20]

That same year, he co-authored a Brookings Institution paper called "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?". Shiller subsequently refined his position in the 2nd edition of Irrational Exuberance (2005), acknowledging that "further rises in the [stock and housing] markets could lead, eventually, to even more significant declines... A long-run consequence could be a decline in consumer and business confidence, and another, possibly worldwide, recession. This extreme outcome ... is not inevitable, but it is a much more serious risk than is widely acknowledged." Writing in The Wall Street Journal in August 2006, Shiller again warned that "there is significant risk of a very bad period, with slow sales, slim commissions, falling prices, rising default and foreclosures, serious trouble in financial markets, and a possible recession sooner than most of us expected." [21] In September 2007, almost exactly one year before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Shiller wrote an article in which he predicted an imminent collapse in the U.S. housing market, and subsequent financial panic. [22]

Robert Shiller was awarded the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics in 2009 for his pioneering research in the field of financial economics, relating to the dynamics of asset prices, such as fixed income, equities, and real estate, and their metrics. His work has been influential in the development of the theory as well as its implications for practice and policy making. His contributions on risk sharing, financial market volatility, bubbles and crises, have received widespread attention among academics, practitioners, and policymakers alike. [23] In 2010, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers. [24]

In 2010 Shiller supported the idea that to fix the financial and banking systems, in order to avoid future financial crisis, banks need to issue a new kind of debt, known as contingent capital, that automatically converts into equity if the regulators determine that there is a systemic national financial crisis, and if the bank is simultaneously in violation of capital-adequacy. [25]

In 2011 he attained the Bloomberg 50 most influential people in global finance ranking list. [26] In 2012, Thomson Reuters named him a contender for that year's Nobel Prize in Economics, citing his "pioneering contributions to financial market volatility and the dynamics of asset prices". [27]

On October 14, 2013, it was announced that Shiller had become a recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics alongside Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen. [28]

His lecture at the prize ceremony explained why markets are not efficient. He presented an argument on why Eugene Fama's Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) was fallacious. EMH postulates that the present value of an asset reflects the efficient incorporation of information into prices. According to Shiller, the results of the movement of the market are extremely erratic, unlike Fama's assertion where the movement would be smoother if it would reflect the intrinsic value of the assets. The results of the graphs provided by Shiller showed a clear aberration from that of the Efficient Market Hypothesis. For example, the dividend growth had been 2% per year on stocks. However, it contradicted the EMH since the growth did not reflect the expected dividends. It is further explained by Shiller's Linearized Present Value model, which is a result of collaboration with his colleague and former student John Campbell, that only one-half to one-third of the fluctuations in the stock market are explained by the expected dividends model. Also, in the lecture, Shiller pointed out that variables such as interest rates and building costs did not explain the movement of the housing market.

On the other hand, Shiller believes that more information regarding the asset market is crucial for its efficiency. Additionally, he alluded to John Maynard Keynes’s explanation of stock markets to point out the irrationality of people while making decisions. Keynes compared the stock market to a beauty contest where people instead of betting on who they find attractive, bet on the contestant who the majority of people find attractive. Therefore, he believes that people do not use complicated mathematical calculations and a sophisticated economic model while participating in the asset market. He argued that a huge set of data is required for the market to operate efficiently. Since there were very minuscule data available on the asset markets for his research, let alone for the common people, he developed the Case-Shiller index that provides information about the trends in home prices. Thus, he added that the use of modern technology can benefit economists to accrue data of broader asset classes that will make the market more information-based and the prices more efficient.

In interviews in June 2015, Shiller warned of the potential of a stock market crash. [29] In August 2015, after a flash crash in individual stocks, he continued to see bubbly conditions in stocks, bonds and housing. [30]

In 2015, the Council for Economic Education honored Shiller with its Visionary Award. [31]

In 2017, Shiller was quoted as calling Bitcoin the biggest financial bubble at the time. [32] The perceived failure of the Cincinnati Time Store has been used as an analogy to suggest that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a "speculative bubble" waiting to burst, according to economist Robert J. Shiller. [33]

In 2019, Shiller published Narrative Economics. The book received favourable reviews and was selected among the Best books of 2019 list published by the Financial Times . [34]

Works

Books

Op-eds

Shiller has written op-eds since at least 2007 for such publications as the New York Times , where he has appeared in print on at least two dozen occasions.

See also

Related Research Articles

Stock market bubble Economic bubble in a stock market

A stock market bubble is a type of economic bubble taking place in stock markets when market participants drive stock prices above their value in relation to some system of stock valuation.

An economic bubble or asset bubble is a situation in which asset prices appear to be based on implausible or inconsistent views about the future. It could also be described as trade in an asset at a price or price range that strongly exceeds the asset's intrinsic value.

Efficient-market hypothesis Economic theory that asset prices fully reflect all available information

The efficient-market hypothesis (EMH) is a hypothesis in financial economics that states that asset prices reflect all available information. A direct implication is that it is impossible to "beat the market" consistently on a risk-adjusted basis since market prices should only react to new information.

Eugene Fama American economist and Nobel laureate in Economics

Eugene Francis "Gene" Fama is an American economist, best known for his empirical work on portfolio theory, asset pricing, and the efficient-market hypothesis.

The Chicago school of economics is a neoclassical school of economic thought associated with the work of the faculty at the University of Chicago, some of whom have constructed and popularized its principles. Milton Friedman and George Stigler are considered the leading scholars of the Chicago school.

Richard Thaler American economist

Richard H. Thaler is an American economist and the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2015, Thaler was president of the American Economic Association.

<i>Irrational Exuberance</i> (book)

Irrational Exuberance is a March 2000 book written by American economist Robert J. Shiller, a Yale University professor and 2013 Nobel Prize winner. The book examines economic bubbles in the 1990s and early 2000s, and is named after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's famed "irrational exuberance" quote warning of such a possible bubble in 1996.

"Irrational exuberance" is the phrase used by the then-Federal Reserve Board chairman, Alan Greenspan, in a speech given at the American Enterprise Institute during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s. The phrase was interpreted as a warning that the stock market might be overvalued.

United States housing bubble Economic bubble

The United States housing bubble was a real estate bubble affecting over half of the U.S. states. It was the impetus for the subprime mortgage crisis. Housing prices peaked in early 2006, started to decline in 2006 and 2007, and reached new lows in 2012. On December 30, 2008, the Case–Shiller home price index reported its largest price drop in its history. The credit crisis resulting from the bursting of the housing bubble is an important cause of the Great Recession in the United States.

Housing bubble

A housing bubble is one of several types of asset price bubbles which periodically occur in the market. The basic concept of a housing bubble is the same as for other asset bubbles, consisting of two main phases. First there is a period where house prices increase dramatically, driven more and more by speculation. In the second phase, house prices fall dramatically. Housing bubbles tend to be among the asset bubbles with the largest effect on the real economy, because they are credit-fueled, because a large number of households participate and not just investors, and because the wealth effect from housing tends to be larger than for other types of financial assets.

A real-estate bubble or property bubble is a type of economic bubble that occurs periodically in local or global real-estate markets, and typically follow a land boom. A land boom is the rapid increase in the market price of real property such as housing until they reach unsustainable levels and then decline. This period, during the run up to the crash, is also known as froth. The questions of whether real estate bubbles can be identified and prevented, and whether they have broader macroeconomic significance, are answered differently by schools of economic thought, as detailed below.

Sanford "Sandy" Jay Grossman is an American economist and hedge fund manager specializing in quantitative finance. Grossman’s research has spanned the analysis of information in securities markets, corporate structure, property rights, and optimal dynamic risk management. He has published widely in leading economic and business journals, including American Economic Review, Journal of Econometrics, Econometrica, and Journal of Finance. His research in macroeconomics, finance, and risk management has earned numerous awards. Grossman is currently Chairman and CEO of QFS Asset Management, an affiliate of which he founded in 1988. QFS Asset Management shut down its sole remaining hedge fund in January 2014.

Financial crisis Situation in which financial assets suddenly lose a large part of their nominal value

A financial crisis is any of a broad variety of situations in which some financial assets suddenly lose a large part of their nominal value. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many financial crises were associated with banking panics, and many recessions coincided with these panics. Other situations that are often called financial crises include stock market crashes and the bursting of other financial bubbles, currency crises, and sovereign defaults. Financial crises directly result in a loss of paper wealth but do not necessarily result in significant changes in the real economy.

United States housing prices experienced a major market correction after the housing bubble that peaked in early 2006. Prices of real estate then adjusted downwards in late 2006, causing a loss of market liquidity and subprime defaults

Quantitative behavioral finance is a new discipline that uses mathematical and statistical methodology to understand behavioral biases in conjunction with valuation.

Case–Shiller index

The Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case–Shiller Home Price Indices are repeat-sales house price indices for the United States. There are multiple Case–Shiller home price indices: A national home price index, a 20-city composite index, a 10-city composite index, and twenty individual metro area indices. These indices are calculated and kept monthly by Standard & Poor's, with data calculated for January 1987 to present. The indices kept by Standard & Poor are normalized to a value of 100 in January 2000. They are based on original work by economists Karl Case and Robert Shiller, whose team calculated the home price index back to 1890. Case and Shiller's index is normalized to a value of 100 in 1890. The Case-Shiller index on Shiller's website is updated quarterly. The two datasets can greatly differ due to different reference points and calculations. For example, in the 4th quarter of 2013, the Standard and Poor 20 city index point was in the 160's, while the index point for 4th quarter on the Shiller data was in the 130's. Shiller claims in his book Irrational Exuberance that such a long series of home prices does not appear to have been published for any country.

The Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics honors renowned researchers who have made influential contributions to the fields of finance and money and macroeconomics, and whose work has led to practical and policy-relevant results. It is awarded biannually, since 2005, by the Center for Financial Studies (CFS), in partnership with Goethe University Frankfurt, and is sponsored by Deutsche Bank Donation Fund. The award carries an endowment of €50,000, which is donated by the Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank im Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft.

Karl Edwin "Chip" Case was Professor of Economics Emeritus at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States, where he held the Coman and Hepburn Chair in Economics and taught for 34 years. He was a Senior Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and was President of the Boston Economic Club 2011-12. Professor Case was also a founding partner in the real estate research firm of Fiserv Case Shiller Weiss, Inc., which created the S&P Case Shiller Index of home prices. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Depositors Insurance Fund of Massachusetts. He was a member of the Standard and Poor’s Index Advisory Committee, the Academic Advisory Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Board of Advisors of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard University. He served as a member of the Boards of Directors of the Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC), Century Bank, The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. He was also an Associate Editor of The Journal of Economic Perspectives and The Journal of Economics Education.

Markus Brunnermeier

Markus Konrad Brunnermeier is an economist, who is the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Economics at Princeton University, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is a faculty member of Princeton's Department of Economics and director of the Bendheim Center for Finance. His research focuses on international financial markets and the macro economy with special emphasis on bubbles, liquidity, financial crises and monetary policy. He promoted the concepts of liquidity spirals, CoVaR as co-risk measure, the paradox of prudence, financial dominance, ESBies, the Reversal Rate, Digital currency areas, the redistributive monetary policy, and the I Theory of Money. He is or was a member of several advisory groups, including to the IMF, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the European Systemic Risk Board, the German Bundesbank and the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. He is also a research associate at CEPR, NBER, and CESifo.

Cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio

The cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio, commonly known as CAPE, Shiller P/E, or P/E 10 ratio, is a valuation measure usually applied to the US S&P 500 equity market. It is defined as price divided by the average of ten years of earnings, adjusted for inflation. As such, it is principally used to assess likely future returns from equities over timescales of 10 to 20 years, with higher than average CAPE values implying lower than average long-term annual average returns.

References

  1. Grove, Lloyd. "World According to ... Robert Shiller". Portfolio.com. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  2. 1 2 Blaug, Mark; Vane, Howard R. (2003). Who's who in economics (4 ed.). Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN   978-1-84064-992-5.
  3. Campbell, John Y. (2004), "An Interview with Robert J. Shiller", Macroeconomic Dynamics , Cambridge University Press, 8 (5): 649–683, doi:10.1017/S1365100504040027
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  5. "ICF Fellows". About. Yale University School of Management. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
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  10. 1 2 Shiller, Robert J. 1946, Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, Encyclopedia.com
  11. Read, Colin (2012). "The Early Years". The Early Years : Palgrave Connect. doi:10.1057/9781137292216.0036. ISBN   9781137292216.
  12. "Robert Shiller on Human Traits Essential to Capitalism" . Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  13. Van Sweden, James (October 22, 2013). "Alumnus Wins Nobel Prize". www.kzoo.edu. Kalamazoo College. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  14. Shiller, Robert J. (1981). "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to Be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?". American Economic Review . 71 (3): 421–436. JSTOR   1802789.
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  31. "ROBERT SHILLER: Bitcoin is the 'best example right now' of a bubble". 2017-09-05. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  32. Bartenstein, Ben; Russo, Camila (May 21, 2018). "Yale's Shiller warns crypto may be another Cincinnati time store". San Francisco Chronicle . Bloomberg News . Retrieved November 28, 2018. ...Two years later, the Welsh textile manufacturer Robert Owen attempted to establish the National Equitable Labour Exchange in London based on 'time money.' Both experiments failed, and a century later, economist John Pease Norton's proposal of an 'electric dollar' devolved into comedic fodder rather than a monetary innovation.
  33. Wolf, Martin (December 3, 2019). "Best books of 2019: Economics". www.ft.com. Retrieved 2020-01-11.
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Awards
Preceded by
Alvin E. Roth
Lloyd S. Shapley
Laureate of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics
2013
Served alongside: Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen
Succeeded by
Jean Tirole
Academic offices
Preceded by
Richard Thaler
President of the American Economic Association
2016– 2017
Succeeded by
Alvin E. Roth