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Aggregate and Welfare Effects of Redistribution of Wealth Under Inflation and Price-Level Targeting

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  • Césaire A. Meh
  • José-Victor Rios-Rull
  • Yaz Terajima

Abstract

Since the work of Doepke and Schneider (2006a) and Meh and Terajima (2008), we know that inflation causes major redistribution of wealth - between households and the government, between nationals and foreigners, and between households within the same country. Two types of monetary policy, inflation targeting (IT) and price level targeting (PT), have very different implications for the price level path subsequent to a price-level shock, and consequently, have different redistributional properties which is what we explore in this paper. For Canada, we show that the magnitude of redistributions of an unexpected 1% price-level increase under IT is about three times larger than under PT. Households' and foreigners' wealth losses from a price level increase is matched by the gains of the government. Even though this redistribution is zero-sum, we observe positive effects on GDP due to the wealth loss, the lower value of the debt and its associated fiscal adjustment, and the non-linear effects on work effort of the redistribution of wealth across households. Finally, the direction of the change in the weighted welfare of households depends on the fiscal policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 08-31.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-31

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Related research

Keywords: Economic models; Monetary policy framework; Sectoral balance sheet; Inflation: costs and benefits; Inflation targets; Inflation and prices;

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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. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 2006. "Government finance in the wake of currency crises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 401-440, April.
  3. Vestin, David, 2006. "Price-level versus inflation targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1361-1376, October.
  4. Andrés Erosa & Gustavo Ventura, 2000. "On Inflation as a Regressive Consumption Tax," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20001, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  5. Allan M. Maslove & J. C. R. Rowley, 1975. "Inflation and Redistribution," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 8(3), pages 399-409, August.
  6. Agathe Côté, 2007. "Price-Level Targeting," Discussion Papers 07-8, Bank of Canada.
  7. 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.
  8. Doepke, Matthias & Schneider, Martin, 2006. "Inflation as a Redistribution Shock: Effects on Aggregates and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 5939, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Drolet, Marie Morissette, Rene, 1997. "Working More? Working Less? What Do Canadian Workers Prefer?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1997104e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  10. Svensson, Lars E O, 1996. "Price-level Targeting versus Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1510, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Vítor Gaspar & Frank Smets & David Vestin, 2007. "Is Time Ripe for Price Level Path Stability?," Working Papers w200719, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  12. Bach, G L & Stephenson, James B, 1974. "Inflation and the Redistribution of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1-13, February.
  13. Césaire Meh & Yaz Terajima, 2008. "Inflation, Nominal Portfolios, and Wealth Redistribution in Canada," Working Papers 08-19, Bank of Canada.
  14. Steve Ambler, 2007. "Price-Level Targeting and Stabilization Policy: A Review," Discussion Papers 07-11, Bank of Canada.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michael, Hatcher, 2013. "Aggregate and welfare effects of long run inflation risk under inflation and price-level targeting," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-19, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  2. Michael Hatcher, 2013. "The inflation risk premium on government debt in an overlapping generations model," Working Papers 2013_17, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  3. Eagle, David M., 2012. "Nominal GDP targeting for a speedier economic recovery," MPRA Paper 39821, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Jose-Victor Rios Rull & Jonathan Heathcote & Dirk Krueger & Andy Glover, 2011. "Intergenerational Redistribution in the Great Recession," 2011 Meeting Papers 141, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Michael, Hatcher, 2013. "Indexed versus nominal government debt under inflation and price-level targeting," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-56, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  6. Hatcher, Michael C., 2011. "Comparing inflation and price-level targeting: A comprehensive review of the literature," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2011/22, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  7. Francisco Covas & Yahong Zhang, 2010. "Price-level versus inflation targeting with financial market imperfections," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1302-1332, November.
  8. Makoto Nakajima, 2013. "Monetary Policy with Heterogeneous Agents," 2013 Meeting Papers 356, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Sunel, Enes, 2012. "Transitional Dynamics of Disinflation in a Small Open Economy with Heterogeneous Agents," MPRA Paper 39690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Zervou, Anastasia S., 2013. "Financial market segmentation, stock market volatility and the role of monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 256-272.
  11. Sunel, Enes, 2010. "On inflation, wealth inequality and welfare in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 25943, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Iulian Vasile Popescu, 2012. "Price-Level Targeting – A Viable Alternative To Inflation Targeting?," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4, pages 809-823, December.
  13. Yaz Terajima & Jose-Victor Rıos-Rull & Cesaire A. Meh & Shutao Cao, 2010. "Inflation, Nominal Debt, Housing, and Welfare," 2010 Meeting Papers 979, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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