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The Heterogeneous Impact of Inflation on Households’ Balance Sheets


  • Miguel Cardoso

    (BBVA Research)

  • Clodomiro Ferreira

    (Banco de España)

  • José Miguel Leiva

    (BBVA Research)

  • Galo Nuño

    (Banco de España)

  • Álvaro Ortiz

    (BBVA Research)

  • Tomasa Rodrigo

    (BBVA Research)


We identify and study three key channels that shape how inflation affects wealth inequality: (i) the traditional Fisher channel through which inflation redistributes from lenders to borrowers; (ii) a nominal labour income channel through which inflation reduces the real value of sticky wages and benefits; and (iii) a relative consumption channel through which heterogeneous increases in the price of different goods affect people differently depending on their consumption baskets. We then quantify these channels for Spain in 2021 using public surveys on households’ wealth, income, and consumption, as well as a novel proprietary bank dataset that includes detailed information on clients’ assets and liabilities, credit and debit card payments, bills and labour related income. Results show that the Fisher and labour income channels are one order of magnitude larger than the relative consumption channel. Middle-aged individuals were roughly unaffected by inflation while older ones suffered the most its consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel Cardoso & Clodomiro Ferreira & José Miguel Leiva & Galo Nuño & Álvaro Ortiz & Tomasa Rodrigo, 2022. "The Heterogeneous Impact of Inflation on Households’ Balance Sheets," Working Papers 176, Red Nacional de Investigadores en Economía (RedNIE).
  • Handle: RePEc:aoz:wpaper:176

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Slacalek, Jiri & Tristani, Oreste & Violante, Giovanni L., 2020. "Household balance sheet channels of monetary policy: A back of the envelope calculation for the euro area," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
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    Cited by:

    1. Szwacka-Mokrzycka Joanna & Marzena Lemanowicz, 2023. "The Influence of Inflation on the Economic Situation of Households in Poland," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 119-132.
    2. Aliocha Accardo & Sylvérie Herbert & Cristina Jude & Adrian Penalver, 2023. "Measuring and Comparing Consumption Inequality between France and the United States," Working papers 904, Banque de France.
    3. Pallotti, Filippo & Paz-Pardo, Gonzalo & Slacalek, Jiri & Tristani, Oreste & Violante, Giovanni L., 2023. "Who bears the costs of inflation? Euro area households and the 2021–2022 shock," Working Paper Series 2877, European Central Bank.
    4. Miguel Ampudia & Michael Ehrmann & Georg Strasser, 2023. "The effect of monetary policy on inflation heterogeneity along the income distribution," BIS Working Papers 1124, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Osbat, Chiara & Conflitti, Cristina & Eiglsperger, Martin & Goldhammer, Bernhard & Kuik, Friderike & Menz, Jan-Oliver & Rumler, Fabio & Moreno, Marta Saez & Segers, Lina & Wieland, Elisabeth & Bellocc, 2023. "Measuring inflation with heterogeneous preferences, taste shifts and product innovation: methodological challenges and evidence from microdata," Occasional Paper Series 323, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item


    inflation inequality; net nominal positions; nominal wage rigidities.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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