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Inflation, the Stock Market, and Owner-Occupied Housing


  • Summers, Lawrence H


This paper suggests that to a large extent. the increases in the value of housing and decreases in the value of corporate capital may have a common explanation, the inter- action of inflation and a nonindexed tax system. The acceleration of inflation has sharply increased the effective rate of taxation of corporate capital income, while reducing the effective taxation of owner- occupied housing. These changes have been capitalized in the form of changing asset prices. In the long run, they will lead to significant changes in the size and composition of the capital stock. The first section of the paper describes in more detail the nonneutralities caused by inflation. A simple model showing how inflation and taxation interact to determine asset prices is presented in the second section. The third section presents some crude empirical tests suggesting that increases in the expected rate of inflation may account for a significant part of the asset price changes which have been observed. A final section concludes the paper by commenting on some implications of the results.
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Suggested Citation

  • Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Inflation, the Stock Market, and Owner-Occupied Housing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 429-434, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:71:y:1981:i:2:p:429-34

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frenkel, Jacob A & Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1975. "Portfolio Equilibrium and the Balance of Payments: A Monetary Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 674-688, September.
    2. Dornbusch, Rudi, 1996. "The Effectiveness of Exchange-Rate Changes," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 26-38, Autumn.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pindyck, Robert S, 1984. "Risk, Inflation, and the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 335-351, June.
    2. Schulz, Rainer & Werwatz, Axel, 2011. "Is there an equilibrating relationship between house prices and replacement cost? Empirical evidence from Berlin," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 288-302, May.
    3. Anderson, Hamish D. & Malone, Christopher B. & Marshall, Ben R., 2008. "Investment returns under right- and left-wing governments in Australasia," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 252-267, June.
    4. Madsen, Jakob B., 2009. "Taxes and the fundamental value of houses," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 365-376, May.
    5. Shiller, Robert J., 1982. "Consumption, asset markets and macroeconomic fluctuations," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 203-238, January.
    6. Bruno, Salvatore & Chincarini, Ludwig, 2010. "A historical examination of optimal real return portfolios for non-US investors," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 161-178, October.
    7. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Should Private Pensions Be Indexed?," NBER Chapters,in: Financial Aspects of the United States Pension System, pages 211-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sellin, Peter, 1998. "Monetary Policy and the Stock Market: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Working Paper Series 72, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    9. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 763-789.
    10. Ambrose, Brent W. & Coulson, N. Edward & Yoshida, Jiro, 2017. "Inflation Rates Are Very Different When Housing Rents Are Accurately Measured," HIT-REFINED Working Paper Series 71, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    11. Berkovec, James & Fullerton, Don, 1989. "The General Equilibrium Effects of Inflation on Housing Consumption and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 277-282, May.
    12. Flowers, Gwendolyn G., 1983. "An economic analysis of the relation of farm land values and returns," ISU General Staff Papers 198301010800009469, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    13. Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Taxation and the Size and Composition of the Capital Stock: An Asset Price Approach," NBER Working Papers 1709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Douglas K. Pearce & V. Vance Roley, 1982. "The Reaction of Stock Prices to Unanticipated Changes in Money," NBER Working Papers 0958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Illusory Effects of Saving Incentives on Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 113-138, Fall.
    16. Omran, Mohammed & Pointon, John, 2001. "Does the inflation rate affect the performance of the stock market? The case of Egypt," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 263-279, September.
    17. Berkovec, James & Fullerton, Don, 1992. "A General Equilibrium Model of Housing, Taxes, and Portfolio Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 390-429, April.
    18. Skinner, Jonathan, 1996. "The dynamic efficiency cost of not taxing housing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 397-417, March.
    19. Sellin, Peter, 2001. " Monetary Policy and the Stock Market: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 491-541, September.
    20. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Effects of Tax-Based Saving Incentives On Saving and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 5759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Dirk Kiesewetter & Kristin Schönemann, 2011. "Der Einfluss von Steuern und Subventionen auf die Rendite fremd‐ und selbst genutzter Wohnimmobilien in Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(2), pages 104-131, May.
    22. Madsen, Jakob B., 2002. "The share market boom and the recent disinflation in the OECD countries: the tax-effects, the inflation-illusion and the risk-aversion hypotheses reconsidered1," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 115-141.
    23. Roger Craine, 1983. "The baby boom, the housing market and the stock market," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Spr, pages 6-11.
    24. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale, 2000. "The Effects of 401(k) Plans on Household Wealth: Differences Across Earnings Groups," NBER Working Papers 8032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Marjorie Flavin & Takashi Yamashita, 1998. "Owner-Occupied Housing and the Composition of the Household Portfolio Over the Life-Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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