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Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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Chapter 22

An Impulse for Conventionality and Familiarity

Standing in opposition to the impulse for risk taking described in the preceding chapter is a nearly opposite impulse for conventionality and familiarity. This impulse can take many forms, but for our broad purposes here it is important to consider how it can push people toward reliance on old-fashioned financial institutions and outdated economic structures.

Financial concepts, as abstract as they are, are difficult for most people to comprehend. They fear being manipulated or cheated by others who are more facile with these concepts. And yet people readily understand that financial arrangements are terribly important to their lifetime well-being, as individuals, or for the long-run success ...

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