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Inflation and Wealth Distribution

  • Burkhard Heer
  • Bernd Süssmuth

The effect of a permanent change of inflation on the distribution of wealth is analyzed in a general equilibrium OLG model that is calibrated with regard to the characteristics of the US economy. Poor agents accumulate savings predominantly in the form of money, while rich agents participate in the stock market and accumulate equity. Surprisingly, an increase of inflation results in a lower stock market participation rate; in addition, the distribution of wealth becomes more unequal, even though the quantitative effect is economically negligible. Furthermore, we show that the welfare costs of anticipated inflation are considerably lower than in Imrohoroglu (1992).

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 835.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_835
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  1. He, Hua & Modest, David M, 1995. "Market Frictions and Consumption-Based Asset Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 94-117, February.
  2. Heer, Burkhard, 2001. " Wealth Distribution and Optimal Inheritance Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies with Intergenerational Transfers," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(3), pages 445-65, September.
  3. John Y. Campbell & Joao F. Cocco & Francisco J. Gomes & Pascala J. Maenhout, 2000. "Investing Retirement Wealth? A Life-Cycle Model," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1896, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  5. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
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