By ROBERT J. SHILLER
Beyond fiscal stimulus and government bailouts, the economic recovery that appears under way may be based on little more than self-fulfilling prophecy.
Consider this possibility: after all these months, people start to think it's time for the recession to end. The very thought begins to renew confidence, and some people start spending again — in turn, generating visible signs of recovery. This may seem absurd, and is rarely mentioned as an explanation for mass behavior late in a recession, but economic theorists have long been fascinated by such a possibility.
Read the article.