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Animal spirits and organization

Sheila Dow

Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 2014, vol. 37, issue 2, 211-231

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the scope for analyzing animal spirits as a social and cultural phenomenon that is heavily influenced by the organizational structure of firms and industries as well as by national structures. Animal spirits are considered in terms of unsubstantiated optimism, low uncertainty perception, and low uncertainty aversion. We distinguish between animal spirits with respect to expanding capacity, on the one hand, and animal spirits with respect to innovation, on the other. The first case is analyzed primarily in terms of fluctuations in spontaneous optimism and uncertainty perception, while the emphasis for the second is more on the enduring dispositions of organizations and individuals. Animal spirits in both contexts are shown to be influenced by structural factors that are open to policy management.

Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.2753/PKE0160-3477370202

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