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A “reverse Robin Hood”? The distributional implications of non-standard monetary policy for Italian households

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Listed:
  • Marco Casiraghi

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Eugenio Gaiotti

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Lisa Rodano

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Alessandro Secchi

    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

We study empirically the distributional implications of a non-standard monetary policy expansion, considering the measures implemented by the Eurosystem in 2011-2012 and exploiting a rich micro dataset on Italian households’ income and wealth, in order to take contemporaneously into account a number of income- and wealth-related channels. Our results do not support the claim that an unconventional monetary loosening acts as a “reverse Robin Hood”. Larger benefits accrue to households at the bottom of the income scale, as the effects via the stimulus to economic activity and employment outweigh those via financial variables. The response of net wealth is U-shaped: less wealthy households take advantage of their leveraged positions, wealthier households of their larger share of financial assets. Overall, the effects on inequality are negligible. The results also suggest that the risk of an “expropriation of savers” is not likely to materialize, as the decrease in the remuneration of savings is compensated by support to labour income and by capital gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Casiraghi & Eugenio Gaiotti & Lisa Rodano & Alessandro Secchi, 2016. "A “reverse Robin Hood”? The distributional implications of non-standard monetary policy for Italian households," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1077, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_1077_16
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    monetary policy; interest rates; policy effects; inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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