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Inflation Illusion, Credit, and Asset Pricing


  • Monika Piazzesi
  • Martin Schneider


This paper considers asset pricing in a general equilibrium model in which some, but not all, agents suffer from inflation illusion. Illusionary investors mistake changes in nominal interest rates for changes in real rates, while smart investors understand the Fisher equation. The presence of smart investors ensures that the equilibrium nominal interest rate moves with expected inflation. The model also predicts a nonmonotonic relationship between the price-to-rent ratio on housing and nominal interest rates -- housing booms occur both when the nominal rate is especially low and when it is especially high. In either situation, disagreement about real interest rates between smart and illusionary investors stimulates borrowing and lending and drives up the price of collateral. The resulting housing boom is stronger if credit markets are more developed. We document that many countries experienced a housing boom in the high-inflation 1970s and a second, stronger, boom in the low-inflation 2000s.

Suggested Citation

  • Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2007. "Inflation Illusion, Credit, and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 12957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12957
    Note: AP EFG ME

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Christian Julliard, 2008. "Money Illusion and Housing Frenzies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 135-180, January.
    2. John Y. Campbell & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2004. "Inflation Illusion and Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 19-23, May.
    3. Randolph B. Cohen & Christopher Polk & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2005. "Money Illusion in the Stock Market: The Modigliani-Cohn Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 639-668.
    4. Matthias Doepke & Martin Schneider, 2006. "Inflation and the Redistribution of Nominal Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1069-1097, December.
    5. Suleyman Basak & Hongjun Yan, 2010. "Equilibrium Asset Prices and Investor Behaviour in the Presence of Money Illusion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 914-936.
    6. Steven A. Sharpe, 2002. "Reexamining Stock Valuation and Inflation: The Implications Of Analysts' Earnings Forecasts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 632-648, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wei Xiong & Hongjun Yan, 2010. "Heterogeneous Expectations and Bond Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1433-1466, April.
    2. Gwangheon Hong & Bong Lee, 2013. "Does Inflation Illusion Explain the Relation between REITs and Inflation?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 123-151, July.
    3. Jianjun Miao & Danyang Xie, "undated". "Monetary Policy and Economic Growth under Money Illusion," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2007-045, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    4. Chung-Fu Lai, 2015. "Money Illusion and Exchange Rate Dynamics in a Small Open Economy," Research in World Economy, Research in World Economy, Sciedu Press, vol. 6(1), pages 199-207, March.
    5. Matteo Iacoviello & Stefano Neri, 2010. "Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from an Estimated DSGE Model," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 125-164, April.
    6. Frappa, S. & Mésonnier, J-S., 2009. "The housing price boom of the late ’90s: did inflation targeting matter?," Working papers 255, Banque de France.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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