Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3643

Appears in Collections:Economics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Animal Spirits Revisited
Authors: Dow, Alexander
Dow, Sheila
Contact Email: s.c.dow@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: animal spirits
rationality
Keynes
Issue Date: Dec-2011
Publisher: De Gruyter (previously Berkeley Electronic Press)
Citation: Dow A & Dow S (2011) Animal Spirits Revisited, Capitalism and Society, 6 (2), pp. 1-23.
Abstract: The term ‘animal spirits’ has returned to academic and public discourse in a way which departs significantly from the original use of the term by Keynes. The new behavioural economics literature uses the term to refer to a range of behaviour which falls outside what is normally understood as rational. This treatment follows from the mainstream dichotomisation between rationality and irrationality. However Keynes explained that, given fundamental uncertainty, rationality alone was insufficient to justify action. Animal spirits was the name he gave to the (psychological) urge to action which explained decisions being taken in spite of uncertainty; animal spirits for him were neither rational nor irrational. Nor are they beyond analysis. We explore how the nature and role of animal spirits can vary according to context (as between different sectors, types of firm and within firms). This analysis indicates ways in which policy can promote structural change to strengthen animal spirits in the long term as well as offset short-term weakening in animal spir
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3643
URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/cas.2011.6.issue-2/1932-0213.1087/1932-0213.1087.xml?format=INT
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.2202/1932-0213.1087
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Glasgow Caledonian University
Economics

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