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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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Bibliographic Info

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. Joseph Gyourko & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2013. "Superstar Cities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 167-99, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Hume, Michael & Sentance, Andrew, 2009. "The global credit boom: challenges for macroeconomics and policy," Discussion Papers 27, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
  2. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "Current Account Patterns and National Real Estate Markets," NBER Working Papers 13921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2008. "Thought and Behavior Contagion in Capital Markets," MPRA Paper 9164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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