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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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12957.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12957.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as “Inflation IlluCampbell, John (ed.) Asset Pricing and Monetary Policy. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2008.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12957
Note: AP EFG ME
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  1. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Christian Julliard, 2006. "Money Illusion and Housing Frenzies," NBER Working Papers 12810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Steven A. Sharpe, 2001. "Reexamining stock valuation and inflation: the implications of analysts' earnings forecasts," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. John Y. Campbell & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2004. "Inflation Illusion and Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 19-23, May.
  4. Basak, Suleyman & Yan, Hongjun, 2009. "Equilibrium Asset Prices and Investor Behavior in the Presence of Money Illusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 7398, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Randolph B. Cohen & Christopher Polk & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2005. "Money Illusion in the Stock Market: The Modigliani-Cohn Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 11018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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