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Optimal monetary policy with heterogeneous agents (Updated September 2019)

Author

Listed:
  • Galo Nuño

    () (Banco de España)

  • Carlos Thomas

    () (Banco de España)

Abstract

We analyze optimal monetary policy under commitment in an economy with uninsurable idiosyncratic risk, long-term nominal claims and costly inflation. Our model features two prominent redistributive channels of monetary policy: the classic Fisherian channel, and unhedged interest rate exposure (URE). The former introduces a “redistributive inflationary bias”, stemming from the fact that debtors (who benefit from inflation) have a higher marginal utility than creditors. This bias is counteracted over time by a disinflationary motive: a commitment to low future inflation raises bond prices, benefiting bond-issuing households (i.e. those with negative URE), who also have a higher marginal utility than bond-purchasing ones. The result is optimal inflation front-loading. Under certain conditions, both motives cancel out asymptotically and optimal long-run inflation is zero. Numerically, we find that optimal policy achieves first-order consumption and welfare redistribution vis-à-vis a zero inflation policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Galo Nuño & Carlos Thomas, 2016. "Optimal monetary policy with heterogeneous agents (Updated September 2019)," Working Papers 1624, Banco de España, revised Sep 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:1624
    as

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    File URL: https://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/16/Fich/dt1624e.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    1. Optimal monetary policy with heterogeneous agents
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2016-11-10 21:12:53

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    2. Stefano Neri & Giuseppe Ferrero, 2017. "Monetary policy in a low interest rate environment," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 392, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Hurtado, Samuel & Nuño, Galo, 2019. "Financial Frictions and the Wealth Distribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 14002, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal monetary policy; incomplete markets; Gâteaux derivative; nominal debt; inflation; redistributive effects; continuous time;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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