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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

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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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13558.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Publication status: published as Robert J. Shiller, 2007. "Low Interest Rates and High Asset Prices: An Interpretation in Terms of Changing Popular Economic Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(2007-2), pages 111-134.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13558

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  1. Robert J. Shiller, 2007. "Understanding Recent Trends in House Prices and Home Ownership," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1630, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Oct 2007.
  2. Goodfriend, Marvin & King, Robert G., 2005. "The incredible Volcker disinflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 981-1015, July.
  3. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Christian Julliard, 2006. "Money Illusion and Housing Frenzies," NBER Working Papers 12810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joseph Gyourko & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2013. "Superstar Cities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 167-99, November.
  5. Campbell, J.Y. & Shiller, R.J., 1988. "Stock Prices, Earnings And Expected Dividends," Papers 334, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  6. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 667, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Tobias Adrian & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Liquidity and financial cycles," BIS Working Papers 256, Bank for International Settlements.
  10. Okun, Arthur M, 1978. "Efficient Disinflationary Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 348-52, May.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Hume, Michael & Sentance, Andrew, 2009. "The global credit boom: Challenges for macroeconomics and policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1426-1461, December.
  2. Willi Semmler & Lucas Bernard, 2011. "Boom-Bust Cycles: Leveraging, Complex Securities, and Asset Prices," DEGIT Conference Papers c016_034, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  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. 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.
  5. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2008. "Current account patterns and national real estate markets," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1rh4s127, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  6. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2008. "Thought and Behavior Contagion in Capital Markets," MPRA Paper 9164, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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