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The non-monotonic relationship between seigniorage and inequality

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  • Joydeep Bhattacharya
  • Helle Bunzel
  • Joseph Haslag

Abstract

We present an analysis of how political factors may come into play in the equilibrium determination of inflation. We employ a standard overlapping generations model with heterogenous young-age endowments, and a government that funds an exogenous spending via a combination of non-distortionary income taxes and the inflation tax. Agents have access to two stores of value: fiat money and an inflation-shielded, yet costly, asset. The model predicts that the relationship between elected reliance on the inflation tax (for revenue) and income inequality may be non-monotonic. We find robust empirical backing for this hypothesis from a cross-section of countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 500-519

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:38:y:2005:i:2:p:500-519

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References

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  1. Stefania Albanesi, . "Inflation and Inequality," Working Papers 199, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Costas Azariadis & Vincenzo Galasso, 1996. "Discretion, rules and volatility," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 65-74.
  3. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
  4. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
  5. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Haslag, Joseph, 2001. "On the Use of the Inflation Tax when Non-Distortionary Taxes Are Available," Staff General Research Papers 5247, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Loewy, Michael B., 1988. "Equilibrium policy in an overlapping generations economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 485-499.
  7. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman & Mark A. Wynne, 1997. "Inequality, inflation, and central bank independence," Working Papers 9705, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  8. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Extensive Margins and the Demand for Money at Low Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 961-991, October.
  9. Beck, T.H.L. & Levine, R. & Loayza, N., 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125520, Tilburg University.
  10. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  11. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  12. Bearse, P. & Glomm, G. & Janeba, E., 2000. "Why poor countries rely mostly on redistribution in-kind," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 463-481, March.
  13. Cukierman, Alex & Edwards, Sebastian & Tabellini, Guido, 1992. "Seigniorage and Political Instability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 537-55, June.
  14. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-78, May.
  15. James Bullard & Christopher J. Waller, 2002. "Central bank design in general equilibrium," Working Papers 1998-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  16. Bryant, John & Wallace, Neil, 1984. "A Price Discrimination Analysis of Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 279-88, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ari Aisen & Francisco José Veiga, 2005. "The Political Economy of Seigniorage," NIPE Working Papers 12/2005, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  2. David Aristei & Cristiano Perugini, 2011. "Speed and Sequencing of Transition Reforms and Income Inequality: a Panel Data Analysis," Working Papers 302, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  3. Scott Dressler, 2012. "A Long-run, Short-run, and Politico-Economic Analysis of the Welfare Costs of Inflation," 2012 Meeting Papers 546, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Lahiri, Radhika & Magnani, Elisabetta, 2012. "Endogenous skill heterogeneity and inflation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1745-1756.
  5. Lahiri, Radhika & Ratnasiri, Shyama, 2010. "A political economy perspective on persistent inequality, inflation, and redistribution," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1199-1210, September.

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