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Equilibrium Asset Prices and Investor Behavior in the Presence of Money Illusion

  • Suleyman Basak
  • Hongjun Yan

This article analyzes the implications of money illusion for investor behavior and asset prices in a securities market economy with inflationary fluctuations. We provide a belief-based formulation of money illusion which accounts for the systematic mistakes in evaluating real and nominal quantities. The impact of money illusion on security prices and their dynamics is demonstrated to be considerable even though its welfare cost on investors is small in typical environments. A money-illusioned investor's real consumption is shown to generally depend on the price level, and specifically to decrease in the price level. A general-equilibrium analysis in the presence of money illusion generates implications that are consistent with several empirical regularities. In particular, the real bond yields and dividend price ratios are positively related to expected inflation, the real short rate is negatively correlated with realized inflation, and money illusion may induce predictability and excess volatility in stock returns. The basic analysis is generalized to incorporate heterogeneous investors with differing degrees of illusion.

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number amz2402.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2008
Date of revision: 01 Aug 2009
Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:amz2402
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  1. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Public Resistance to Indexation: A Puzzle," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 159-228.
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  3. Hongjun Yan, 2008. "Natural Selection in Financial Markets: Does it Work?," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2648, Yale School of Management, revised 01 May 2008.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Money Illusion and Coordination Failure," IZA Discussion Papers 1013, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  8. Süleyman Basak & Mike Gallmeyer, . "Currency Prices, the Nominal Exchange Rate, and Security Prices in a Two-Country Dynamic Monetary Equilibrium," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 09-98, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  9. David G. Barr & John Y. Campbell, 1996. "Inflation, Real Interest Rates, and the Bond Market: A Study of UK Nominal and Index-Linked Government Bond Prices," NBER Working Papers 5821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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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  21. 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.
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