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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Morten O. Ravn, 2008. "The Consumption-Tightness Puzzle," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006, pages 9-63 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Wei Jiang & James Malley, 2017. "Targeted fiscal policy to increase employment and wages of unskilled workers," Studies in Economics 1704, School of Economics, University of Kent.
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    11. repec:eee:moneco:v:88:y:2017:i:c:p:70-89 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Colciago & Anna Samarina & Jakob de Haan, 2018. "Central bank policies and income and wealth inequality: A survey," DNB Working Papers 594, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital-skill complementarity; inequality; monetary policy; Search and Matching;

    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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