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Monetary Policy and Inequality under Labor Market Frictions and Capital-Skill Complementarity

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  • Dolado, Juan J.
  • Motyovszki, Gergo
  • Pappa, Evi

Abstract

Contrary to previous beliefs, recent empirical work has found that the effects of monetary policy on inequality are far from modest. In order to improve our understanding of the channels through which monetary policy has distributional consequences, we build a New Keynesian model with incomplete asset markets, asymmetric search and matching (SAM) frictions across skilled and unskilled workers and, foremost, capital-skill complementarity (CSC) in the production function. Our main finding is that an unexpected monetary easing increases labor income inequality between high and low-skilled workers, and that the interaction between CSC and SAM asymmetry is crucial in delivering this result. This is so since the increase in labor demand driven by a monetary expansion leads to larger wage increases for high-skilled workers than for low-skilled workers since the former have smaller matching frictions (SAM-asymmetry channel). Moreover, the increase in capital demand amplifies this wage divergence due to skilled workers being more complementary to capital than substitutable unskilled workers are (CSC channel). Strict inflation targeting is often the most successful rule in stabilizing measures of earnings inequality even in the presence of shocks which introduce a trade-off between stabilizing inflation and aggregate demand.

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  • Dolado, Juan J. & Motyovszki, Gergo & Pappa, Evi, 2018. "Monetary Policy and Inequality under Labor Market Frictions and Capital-Skill Complementarity," CEPR Discussion Papers 12734, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12734
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    1. Monetary Policy and Inequality under Labor Market Frictions and Capital-Skill Complementarity
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2018-06-18 14:23:25

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    Cited by:

    1. Aubert, Diane & Chiroleu-Assouline, Mireille, 2019. "Environmental tax reform and income distribution with imperfect heterogeneous labour markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 60-82.
    2. Niels-Jakob H Hansen & Alessandro Lin & Rui Mano, 2020. "Should Inequality Factor into Central Banks' Decisions?," IMF Working Papers 2020/196, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Cantore, C. & Freund, L. B., 2020. "Workers, Capitalists, and the Government: Fiscal Policy and Income (Re)Distribution," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2095, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Anna Samarina & Anh D.M. Nguyen, 2019. "Does monetary policy affect income inequality in the euro area?," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 61, Bank of Lithuania.
    5. Ahiadorme, Johnson Worlanyo, 2020. "Monetary policy transmission and income inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 104084, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mehdi El Herradi & Aurélien Leroy, 2019. "Monetary policy and the top one percent: Evidence from a century of modern economic history," DNB Working Papers 632, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. Hohberger, Stefan & Priftis, Romanos & Vogel, Lukas, 2020. "The distributional effects of conventional monetary policy and quantitative easing: Evidence from an estimated DSGE model," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 113(C).
    8. Nikolaos Papanikolaou, 2020. "Markov-Switching Model of Family Income Quintile Shares," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 48(2), pages 207-222, June.
    9. Sakkas, Stelios & Varthalitis, Petros, 2018. "The (intertemporal) equity-efficiency trade-off of fiscal consolidation," MPRA Paper 90983, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Varthalitis, Petros & Sakkas, Stelios, 2019. "Public debt consolidation and its distributional effects," Papers WP629, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    11. Serena Merrino, 2020. "Wage inequality under inflation-targeting in South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-86, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Andrea Colciago & Anna Samarina & Jakob de Haan, 2019. "Central Bank Policies And Income And Wealth Inequality: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 1199-1231, September.
    13. Albert, Juan-Francisco & Peñalver, Antonio & Perez-Bernabeu, Alberto, 2020. "The effects of monetary policy on income and wealth inequality in the U.S. Exploring different channels," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 88-106.
    14. Donato Masciandaro & Francesco Passarelli, 2020. "Populism, Political Pressure and Central Bank (in)Dependence," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 691-705, July.
    15. Israel, Karl-Friedrich & Latsos, Sophia, 2019. "The impact of (un)conventional expansionary monetary policy on income inequality - Lessons from Japan," Working Papers 163, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital-skill complementarity; inequality; monetary policy; Search and Matching;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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