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Low Interest Rates and High Asset Prices: An Interpretation in Terms of Changing Popular Economic Models

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  • Robert J. Shiller

    (Yale University)

Abstract

There has been a widespread perception in the past few years that long-term asset prices are generally high because monetary authorities have effectively kept long-term interest rates, which the market uses to discount cash flows, low. This perception is not accurate. Long-term interest rates have not been especially low. What has changed to produce high asset prices appears instead to be changes in popular economic models that people actually rely on when valuing assets. The public has mostly forgotten the concept of "real interest rate." Money illusion appears to be an important factor to consider.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution in its journal Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.

Volume (Year): 38 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 111-134

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Handle: RePEc:bin:bpeajo:v:38:y:2007:i:2007-2:p:111-134

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Keywords: macroeconomics; Low Interest Rates; High Asset Prices; Popular Economic Models;

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References

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  1. Robert J. Shiller, 2007. "Understanding Recent Trends in House Prices and Home Ownership," NBER Working Papers 13553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Okun, Arthur M, 1978. "Efficient Disinflationary Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 348-52, May.
  3. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 173-224.
  4. Joseph Gyourko & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2006. "Superstar Cities," NBER Working Papers 12355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Campbell, J.Y. & Shiller, R.J., 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings And Expected Dividends," Papers 334, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  6. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "Perspectives on High World Real Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 273-334.
  7. Tobias Adrian & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Liquidity and financial cycles," BIS Working Papers 256, Bank for International Settlements.
  8. Brunnermeier, Markus K & Julliard, Christian, 2007. "Money Illusion and Housing Frenzies," CEPR Discussion Papers 6183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Robert J. Gordon, 1970. "The Recent Acceleration of Inflation and Its Lessons for the Future," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(1), pages 8-47.
  10. Brainard, William C. & Shoven, John B., 1980. "The financial valuation of the return to capital," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue 4, pages 43-104.
  11. William C. Brainard & John B. Shoven & Laurence Weiss, 1980. "The Financial Valuation of the Return to Capital," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(2), pages 453-512.
  12. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2005. "The Incredible Volcker Disinflation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-007, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  13. William C. Brainard & William D. Nordhaus & Harold W. Watts, 1991. "Money, Macroeconomics, and Economic Policy: Essays in Honor of James Tobin," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262023253, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2009. "Current account patterns and national real estate markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 75-89, September.
  2. Semmler, Willi & Bernard, Lucas, 2012. "Boom–bust cycles: Leveraging, complex securities, and asset prices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 442-465.
  3. Gabriel Jiménez & Steven Ongena & José Luis Peydró & Jesús Saurina, 2009. "Hazardous times for monetary policy: What do twenty-three million bank loans say about the effects of monetary policy on credit risk-taking?," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0833, Banco de Espa�a.
  4. Hume, Michael & Sentance, Andrew, 2009. "The global credit boom: challenges for macroeconomics and policy," Discussion Papers 27, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
  5. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2008. "Thought and Behavior Contagion in Capital Markets," MPRA Paper 9164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Yoon, Gawon, 2009. "Is high real interest rate persistence an intrinsic characteristic of industrialized economies?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 359-363, March.

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