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Manipulation and Deception as Part of a Phishing Equilibrium


  • George A. Akerlof

    (Georgetown University)

  • Robert J. Shiller

    (Yale University)


Free markets are products of peace and freedom, flourishing in stable times when people do not live in fear. But they also create an economic equilibrium that is highly suitable for enterprises that manipulate or distort our judgment on competitive markets. Unregulated free markets rarely reward the different kind of heroism, of those who restrain themselves from taking advantage of customers’ psychological or informational weaknesses. People frequently make decisions that are not in their best interest. Such bad decisions make it possible for them to be phished for phools. If we have some weakness or other—some way in which we can be phished for phools for more than the usual profit—in the phishing equilibrium, it will be taken up.

Suggested Citation

  • George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller, 2016. "Manipulation and Deception as Part of a Phishing Equilibrium," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 51(4), pages 207-212, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:buseco:v:51:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1057_s11369-016-0015-z
    DOI: 10.1057/s11369-016-0015-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller, 2015. "Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10534, April.
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