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Inflation and Income Inequality in Developed Economies

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  • Pierre Monnin

    (Council on Economic Policies)

Abstract

This paper explores the empirical link between income inequality and inflation in ten OECD countries over the period 1971 to 2010. In addition to inflation, we include six control variables in our analysis: economic development level, business cycles, unemployment, unionization, openness to international trade and skill-biased technological change. We estimate the empirical link between all seven variables and income inequality with a balanced panel. We find a U-shaped link between long-run inflation and income inequality. Low inflation rates are associated with higher income inequality. As inflation goes up, inequality decreases, reaches a minimum with an inflation rate of about 13%, and then starts rising again. The precise mechanisms that lead more inflation to correlate with a decrease in income inequality until a certain threshold are unclear yet, and warrant further research.

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  • Pierre Monnin, 2014. "Inflation and Income Inequality in Developed Economies," Working Papers 1401, Council on Economic Policies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ceq:wpaper:1401
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    9. Nolan, Brian & Richiardi, Matteo & Valenzuela, Luis, 2018. "The Drivers of Inequality in Rich Countries," MPRA Paper 89806, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. John C. Anyanwu, 2016. "Empirical Analysis of the Main Drivers of Income Inequality in Southern Africa," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 17(2), pages 337-364, November.
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