Animal Spirits : The Indicator from Planet Money People hear the word 'economics' and probably think: numbers, equations, and percentages. But hidden underneath the math, is a force that can't be quantified.

Animal Spirits

Animal Spirits

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2018 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Most people think of economics as a science driven by data and trends. But the economy has an irrational underlying force: "animal spirits."

The term animal spirits was coined — in reference to economics — back in 1936 by John Maynard Keynes. Keynes used it to describe the way people's emotional decisions can sway the markets.

Today on The Indicator, we speak to Robert Shiller, Nobel Prize winner in economics and co-author of the book Animal Spirits. He helps us understand why animal spirits are important to keep in mind in today's economy.

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