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A political economy perspective on persistent inequality, inflation, and redistribution

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  • Lahiri, Radhika
  • Ratnasiri, Shyama

Abstract

In this paper we examine the dynamics of the link between inequality and inflation from a political economy perspective. We consider a simple dynamic general equilibrium model in which agents vote over the desired inflation rate in each period, and inequality is persistent. Inflation in our model is a mechanism of redistribution, and we find that the link between inequality and inflation within any period or over time depends on institutional and preference related parameters. Furthermore, we find that differences in the initial distributions of wealth can yield a diverse set of patterns for the evolution of the inflation and inequality link. Relative to existing literature, our model leads to more precise predictions about the inflation-inequality correlation. To that end, results in the extant empirical literature on the inflation and inequality link need to be interpreted with caution.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 1199-1210

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:27:y:2010:i:5:p:1199-1210

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

Related research

Keywords: Political economy Inflation Inequality Redistribution Voting;

References

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  1. Cukierman, A. & Miller, G.P. & Neyapti, B., 2000. "Central Bank Reform, Liberalization and Inflation in Transition Economies: An International Perspective," Discussion Paper 2000-106, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Gregory W. Huffman, 1996. "Endogenous tax determination and the distribution of wealth," Working Papers 9605, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman & Mark A. Wynne, 2000. "Inequality, inflation, and central bank independence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 271-287, February.
  5. Albanesi, Stefania, 2002. "Inflation and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 3470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Gregory W. Huffman, 1995. "An equilibrium analysis of central bank independence and inflation," Working Papers 9501, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  7. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel & Joseph Haslag, 2005. "The non-monotonic relationship between seigniorage and inequality," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 500-519, May.
  8. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Theories of persistent inequality and intergenerational mobility," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 429-476 Elsevier.
  9. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Lahiri, Radhika & Magnani, Elisabetta, 2012. "Endogenous skill heterogeneity and inflation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1745-1756.

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