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Inequality, inflation, and central bank independence

Author

Listed:
  • Dolmas, James

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

  • Huffman, Gregory W.
  • Wynne, Mark A.

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

Abstract

What can account for the different contemporaneous inflation experiences of various countries, and of the same country over time? We present an analysis of the determination of inflation from a political economy perspective. We document a positive correlation between income inequality and inflation and then present a theory of the determination of inflation outcomes in democratic societies that illustrates how greater inequality leads to greater inflation, owing to a desire by voters for wealth redistribution. We conclude by showing that democracies with more independent central banks tend to have better inflation outcomes for a given degree of inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Dolmas, James & Huffman, Gregory W. & Wynne, Mark A., 1997. "Inequality, inflation, and central bank independence," Working Papers 9705, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:97-05
    Note: Published as: Dolmas, Jim, Gregory W. Huffman and Mark A. Wynne (2000), "Inequality, Inflation, and Central Bank Independence," Canadian Journal of Economics 33 (1): 271-287.
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    File URL: http://dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/papers/1997/wp9705.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    2. Cukierman, Alex & Kalaitzidakis, Pantelis & Summers, Lawrence H. & Webb, Steven B., 1993. "Central bank independence, growth, investment, and real rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 95-140, December.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-162, May.
    4. Beetsma, Roel M W J & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1996. "Does Inequality Cause Inflation?: The Political Economy of Inflation, Taxation and Government Debt," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 143-162, April.
    5. Gregory W. Huffman, 1997. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Central Bank Independence and Inflation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 943-958, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Areosa, Waldyr Dutra & Areosa, Marta B.M., 2016. "The inequality channel of monetary transmission," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 214-230.
    2. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
    3. Christopher Crowe, 2004. "Inflation, Inequality and Social Conflict," CEP Discussion Papers dp0657, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. James P Walsh & Jiangyan Yu, 2012. "Inflation and Income Inequality; Is Food Inflation Different?," IMF Working Papers 12/147, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Stuart J. Fowler, 2005. "Income Inequality, Monetary Policy, and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 200507, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
    6. Hermann Sintim-Aboagye & Chandana Chakraborty & Serapio Byekwaso, 2012. "Uncertainty of inflation and inflation rate: Does credibility of inflation policy matter?," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 17(2), pages 95-110, September.
    7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:5:y:2008:i:9:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Eleftherios Thalassinos & Erginbay Ugurlu & Yusuf Muratoglu, 2012. "Income Inequality and Inflation in the EU," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(1), pages 127-140.
    9. Diana N. Weymark, 2001. "Inflation, Income Redistribution, and Optimal Central Bank Independence," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0102, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    10. Lahiri, Radhika & Ratnasiri, Shyama, 2010. "A political economy perspective on persistent inequality, inflation, and redistribution," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1199-1210, September.
    11. Hoover, Gary A. & Giedeman, Daniel C. & Dibooglu, Sel, 2009. "Income inequality and the business cycle: A threshold cointegration approach," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 278-292, September.
    12. Radhika Lahiri & Elisabetta Magnani, 2007. "On Skill Heterogeneity, Human Capital, and Inflation," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 13(3), pages 393-394, August.
    13. repec:kap:iaecre:v:12:y:2006:i:2:p:147-160 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Weymark, Diana N., 2007. "Inflation, government transfers, and optimal central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 297-315, February.
    15. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel & Joseph Haslag, 2005. "The non-monotonic relationship between seigniorage and inequality," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 500-519, May.
    16. Lahiri, Radhika & Magnani, Elisabetta, 2012. "Endogenous skill heterogeneity and inflation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1745-1756.
    17. Hermann Sintim-Aboagye, 2005. "Emerging Economies, Turnover Rates and Inflation Variability: A Comparison of Generalized Maximum Likelihood and SUR Models," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 167-178, June.
    18. N'Yilimon Nantob, 2015. "Income Inequality and Inflation in Developing Countries: An Empirical Investigation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2888-2902.
    19. Hermann Sintim-Aboagye & David Tufte, 2006. "Central Bank Independence, Inflation Variability, and the Revenue Smoothing Hypothesis," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 12(2), pages 147-160, May.
    20. Jeroen Klomp & Jakob Haan, 2010. "Central bank independence and inflation revisited," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 445-457, September.
    21. Diana N. Weymark, 2005. "Inflation, Government Transfers, and Optimal Central Bank Independence," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0502, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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