IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/dnb/dnbwpp/594.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Central bank policies and income and wealth inequality: A survey

Author

Listed:
  • Andrea Colciago
  • Anna Samarina
  • Jakob de Haan

Abstract

This paper takes stock of the literature on the relationship between central bank policies and inequality. A new paradigm which integrates sticky-prices, incomplete markets and heterogeneity among households is emerging, which allows to jointly study how inequality shapes macroeconomic aggregates and how macroeconomic shocks and policies affect inequality. While the new paradigm features multiple distributional channels of monetary policy, most empirical analyses analyse each potential channel of redistribution in isolation. Our review suggests that empirical research on the effect of conventional monetary policy on income and wealth inequality yields very mixed findings, although there seems to be a consensus that higher inflation, at least above some threshold, increases inequality. In contrast to common wisdom, the conclusions concerning the impact of unconventional monetary policies on income inequality are also not clear cut. This is so since these policies may reduce income inequality by stimulating economic activity, but may also increase inequality by boosting asset prices. Similarly, results concerning the impact of unconventional monetary policies on wealth inequality are rather mixed. The scant literature on the impact of macro-prudential policies on inequality finds evidence for redistributive effects, but in view of its limitations it may be too early to come to conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:594
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.dnb.nl/en/binaries/Working%20paper%20No.%20594_tcm47-375929.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2004. "A New Measure of Monetary Shocks: Derivation and Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1055-1084, September.
    2. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
    3. Helder Ferreira de Mendonça & Diogo Martins Esteves, 2018. "Monetary authority's transparency and income inequality," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(4), pages 202-227, November.
    4. Rémi Bazillier & Jérôme Hericourt, 2017. "The Circular Relationship Between Inequality, Leverage, And Financial Crises," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 463-496, April.
    5. Punzi, Maria Teresa & Rabitsch, Katrin, 2016. "Borrower heterogeneity within a risky mortgage-lending market," FinMaP-Working Papers 67, Collaborative EU Project FinMaP - Financial Distortions and Macroeconomic Performance: Expectations, Constraints and Interaction of Agents.
    6. Alan Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Jakob de Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2017. "Necessity as the mother of invention: monetary policy after the crisis," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(92), pages 707-755.
    7. Mike Brewer & Liam Wren-Lewis, 2016. "Accounting for Changes in Income Inequality: Decomposition Analyses for the UK, 1978–2008," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(3), pages 289-322, June.
    8. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
    9. Punzi, Maria Teresa & Rabitsch, Katrin, 2018. "Effectiveness of macroprudential policies under borrower heterogeneity," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 251-261.
    10. Motohiro Yogo, 2004. "Estimating the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution When Instruments Are Weak," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 797-810, August.
    11. Dolado, Juan J. & Motyovszki, Gergö & Pappa, Evi, 2018. "Monetary Policy and Inequality under Labor Market Frictions and Capital-Skill Complementarity," IZA Discussion Papers 11494, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2017. "Finance and income inequality: A review and new evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 171-195.
    13. Mariacristina De Nardi & Giulio Fella, 2017. "Saving and Wealth Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 280-300, October.
    14. Mumtaz, Haroon & Theophilopoulou, Angeliki, 2017. "The impact of monetary policy on inequality in the UK. An empirical analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 410-423.
    15. Michael Kumhof & Romain Rancière & Pablo Winant, 2015. "Inequality, Leverage, and Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1217-1245, March.
    16. Greg Kaplan & Benjamin Moll & Giovanni L. Violante, 2018. "Monetary Policy According to HANK," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(3), pages 697-743, March.
    17. Till Treeck, 2014. "Did Inequality Cause The U.S. Financial Crisis?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 421-448, July.
    18. Andrea Colciago, 2011. "Rule-of-Thumb Consumers Meet Sticky Wages," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 325-353, March.
    19. Lemke, Wolfgang & Vladu, Andreea L., 2016. "Below the zero lower bound: A shadow-rate term structure model for the euro area," Discussion Papers 32/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    20. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    21. Rubio, Margarita & Carrasco-Gallego, José A., 2014. "Macroprudential and monetary policies: Implications for financial stability and welfare," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 326-336.
    22. Anmol Bhandari & David Evans & Mikhail Golosov & Thomas J. Sargent, 2018. "Inequality, Business Cycles, and Monetary-Fiscal Policy," Working Papers 18-26, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    23. Kirschenmann, Karolin & Malinen, Tuomas & Nyberg, Henri, 2016. "The risk of financial crises: Is there a role for income inequality?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 161-180.
    24. Bilbiie, Florin O., 2008. "Limited asset markets participation, monetary policy and (inverted) aggregate demand logic," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 162-196, May.
    25. Adam, Klaus & Tzamourani, Panagiota, 2016. "Distributional consequences of asset price inflation in the Euro Area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 172-192.
    26. Guido Ascari & Andrea Colciago & Lorenza Rossi, 2017. "Limited Asset Market Participation, Sticky Wages, And Monetary Policy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(2), pages 878-897, April.
    27. CARPANTIER Jean-François & OLIVERA Javier & VAN KERM Philippe, 2017. "Macroprudential Policy and Household Wealth Inequality," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-09, LISER.
    28. Philip Vermeulen, 2016. "Estimating the Top Tail of the Wealth Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 646-650, May.
    29. Cristiano Perugini & Jens Hölscher & Simon Collie, 2016. "Inequality, credit and financial crises," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 227-257.
    30. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob De Haan, 2015. "Income Inequality, Capitalism, and Ethno-linguistic Fractionalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 593-597, May.
    31. Voinea, L. & Lovin, H. & Cojocaru, A., 2018. "The impact of inequality on the transmission of monetary policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 236-250.
    32. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2007. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 227-270, March.
    33. Jing Cynthia Wu & Fan Dora Xia, 2016. "Measuring the Macroeconomic Impact of Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(2-3), pages 253-291, March.
    34. Bewley, Truman, 1977. "The permanent income hypothesis: A theoretical formulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 252-292, December.
    35. Carpantier, Jean-Francois & Olivera, Javier & Van Kerm, Philippe, 2018. "Macroprudential policy and household wealth inequality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 262-277.
    36. (River) Huang, Ho-Chuan & Lin, Shu-Chin & Suen, Yu-Bo & Yeh, Chih-Chuan, 2007. "A quantile inference of the Kuznets hypothesis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 559-570, July.
    37. Caterina Mendicino & Kalin Nikolov & Javier Suarez & Dominik Supera, 2018. "Optimal Dynamic Capital Requirements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 50(6), pages 1271-1297, September.
    38. Lorenzo Menna & Patrizio Tirelli, 2017. "Optimal inflation to reduce inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 79-94, March.
    39. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-178, May.
    40. Ayako Saiki & Jon Frost, 2014. "Does unconventional monetary policy affect inequality? Evidence from Japan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(36), pages 4445-4454, December.
    41. Stéphane Bonhomme & Laura Hospido, 2017. "The Cycle of Earnings Inequality: Evidence from Spanish Social Security Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(603), pages 1244-1278, August.
    42. Dietrich Domanski & Michela Scatigna & Anna Zabai, 2016. "Wealth inequality and monetary policy," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    43. Michał Brzoza-Brzezina & Marcin Kolasa & Grzegorz Koloch & Krzysztof Makarski & Michał Rubaszek, 2013. "Monetary Policy In A Non-Representative Agent Economy: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 641-669, September.
    44. Michael Kumhof & Romain Rancière & Pablo Winant, 2015. "Inequality, Leverage, and Crises," Post-Print halshs-01511070, HAL.
    45. Furceri, Davide & Loungani, Prakash & Zdzienicka, Aleksandra, 2018. "The effects of monetary policy shocks on inequality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 168-186.
    46. Iván Werning, 2015. "Incomplete Markets and Aggregate Demand," NBER Working Papers 21448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    47. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    48. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2007. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 227-270, March.
    49. 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).
    50. Zinman, Jonathan, 2010. "Restricting consumer credit access: Household survey evidence on effects around the Oregon rate cap," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 546-556, March.
    51. Laurent Clerc & Alexis Derviz & Caterina Mendicino & Stephane Moyen & Kalin Nikolov & Livio Stracca & Javier Suarez & Alexandros P. Vardoulakis, 2015. "Capital Regulation in a Macroeconomic Model with Three Layers of Default," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(3), pages 9-63, June.
    52. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    53. Florence Jaumotte & Subir Lall & Chris Papageorgiou, 2013. "Rising Income Inequality: Technology, or Trade and Financial Globalization?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(2), pages 271-309, June.
    54. Haroon Mumtaz & Angeliki Theophilopoulou, 2015. "Monetary Policy and Inequality in the UK," Working Papers 738, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    55. Matthias Doepke & Martin Schneider, 2006. "Inflation and the Redistribution of Nominal Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1069-1097, December.
    56. Areosa, Waldyr Dutra & Areosa, Marta B.M., 2016. "The inequality channel of monetary transmission," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 214-230.
    57. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad T., 2007. "Euler equations and money market interest rates: A challenge for monetary policy models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1863-1881, October.
    58. Meh, Césaire A. & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor & Terajima, Yaz, 2010. "Aggregate and welfare effects of redistribution of wealth under inflation and price-level targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 637-652, September.
    59. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    60. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Kueng, Lorenz & Silvia, John, 2017. "Innocent Bystanders? Monetary policy and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 70-89.
    61. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
    62. Christian Bayer & Ralph Luetticke & Lien Pham‐Dao & Volker Tjaden, 2019. "Precautionary Savings, Illiquid Assets, and the Aggregate Consequences of Shocks to Household Income Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(1), pages 255-290, January.
    63. Casiraghi, Marco & Gaiotti, Eugenio & Rodano, Lisa & Secchi, Alessandro, 2018. "A “reverse Robin Hood”? The distributional implications of non-standard monetary policy for Italian households," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 215-235.
    64. Ayako Saiki & Jon Frost, 2014. "How does unconventional monetary policy affect inequality? Evidence from Japan," DNB Working Papers 423, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    65. Bunn, Philip & Pugh, Alice & Yeates, Chris, 2018. "The distributional impact of monetary policy easing in the UK between 2008 and 2014," Bank of England working papers 720, Bank of England.
    66. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
    67. Atkinson, Anthony B., 2015. "Inequality: what can be done?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101810, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    68. Guerello, Chiara, 2018. "Conventional and unconventional monetary policy vs. households income distribution: An empirical analysis for the Euro Area," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 187-214.
    69. Lorenzo Menna & Patrizio Tirelli, 2017. "Optimal inflation to reduce inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 79-94, March.
    70. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
    71. Stéphane Bonhomme & Laura Hospido, 2017. "The Cycle of Earnings Inequality: Evidence From Spanish Social Security Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(603), pages 1244-1278.
    72. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Papadopoulos, Georgios, 2019. "Income inequality, consumption, credit and credit risk in a data-driven agent-based model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 39-73.
    2. 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.
    3. Clara De Luigi & Martin Feldkircher & Philipp Poyntner & Helene Schuberth, 2019. "Effects of the ECB’s Unconventional Monetary Policy on Real and Financial Wealth," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp286, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    4. Marcin Bielecki & Michał Brzoza-Brzezina & Marcin Kolasa, 2020. "Distributional consequences of conventional and unconventional monetary policy," NBP Working Papers 327, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    5. 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).
    6. Jan Willem van den End & Paul Konietschke & Anna Samarina & Irina Stanga, 2020. "Macroeconomic reversal rate: evidence from a nonlinear IS-curve," DNB Working Papers 684, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. 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.
    8. Losoncz, Miklós & Czelleng, Ádám, 2020. "A jövedelemegyenlőtlenség makrogazdasági hatásai szimulációs megközelítésben [Some macroeconomic effects of income inequalities in a simulation approach]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 495-511.
    9. Slacalek, Jiri & Tristani, Oreste & Violante, Giovanni L., 2020. "Household balance sheet channels of monetary policy: A back of the envelope calculation for the euro area," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    10. Jérôme Creel & Mehdi El Herradi, 2019. "Shocking aspects of monetary policy on income inequality in the euro area," Sciences Po publications 2019-15, Sciences Po.
    11. Mehdi el Herradi & Jakob de Haan & Aurélien Leroy, 2020. "Inflation and the Income Share of the Rich: Evidence for 12 OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 8203, CESifo.
    12. Bernd Hayo, 2020. "Does Quantitative Easing Affect People’s Personal Financial Situation and Economic Inequality? The View of the German Population," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202023, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    13. Kilman, Josefin, 2020. "Monetary Policy and Income Inequality in the United States: The Role of Labor Unions," Working Papers 2020:10, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    14. Christophe Blot & Jérôme Creel & Paul Hubert, 2019. "Challenges ahead for EMU monetary policy," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5udjblpuik8, Sciences Po.
    15. Edmond Berisha & Rangan Gupta & John Meszaros, 2019. "Fisher Variables and Income Inequality in the BRICS," Working Papers 201933, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    16. Bunn, Philip & Haldane, Andrew & Pugh, Alice, 2020. "Has monetary policy made you happier?," Bank of England working papers 880, Bank of England.
    17. Lenza, Michele & Slacalek, Jiri, 2018. "How does monetary policy affect income and wealth inequality? Evidence from quantitative easing in the euro area," Working Paper Series 2190, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; wealth inequality; monetary policy; macro-prudential policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:594. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Heuver). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dnbgvnl.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.