“My father, Benjamin Shiller, told me not to believe in authorities or celebrities — that society tends to imagine them as superhuman. It’s good advice. People are snowed by celebrities all the time. In academia people have this idea of achieving stardom — publishing in the best journals, being at the best university, writing on the hot topic everyone else is writing about. But that’s what my father told me not to do. He taught me that you have to pursue things that sound right to you.
“In 2004, when I wrote the second edition of my book Irrational Exuberance, I said in the preface I was worried that the boom in home prices might collapse, bring on bankruptcy in both households and businesses, and lead to a world recession. I remember thinking that this sounds kind of flaky — nobody else is saying this, I can’t prove it, this could be embarrassing. But I had learned from my father not to care what other people think. This was my book, and I believed this, so I just said it.”