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Innocent Bystanders? Monetary Policy and Inequality in the U.S

  • Coibion, Olivier

    ()

    (University of Texas at Austin)

  • Gorodnichenko, Yuriy

    ()

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Kueng, Lorenz

    ()

    (Northwestern University)

  • Silvia, John

    (Wells Fargo)

We study the effects and historical contribution of monetary policy shocks to consumption and income inequality in the United States since 1980. Contractionary monetary policy actions systematically increase inequality in labor earnings, total income, consumption and total expenditures. Furthermore, monetary shocks can account for a significant component of the historical cyclical variation in income and consumption inequality. Using detailed micro-level data on income and consumption, we document the different channels via which monetary policy shocks affect inequality, as well as how these channels depend on the nature of the change in monetary policy.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6633.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6633
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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
  3. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri & Luigi Pistaferri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Cross Sectional Facts for Macroeconomists," NBER Working Papers 15554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation and the Great Moderation: An Alternative Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 14621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Peter N. Ireland, 2005. "Changes in the Federal Reserve’s Inflation Target: Causes and Consequences," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 607, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  7. Stefania Albanesi, . "Inflation and Inequality," Working Papers 199, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  9. Olivier Coibion, 2011. "Are the effects of monetary policy shocks big or small?," Working Papers 90, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  10. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Unequal we stand: an empirical analysis of economic inequality in the United States, 1967-2006," Staff Report 436, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Ben Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2003. "What explains the stock market's reaction to Federal Reserve policy?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
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  16. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
  17. Mark Bils & Mark Aguiar, 2010. "Has Consumption Inequality Mirrored Income Inequality?," 2010 Meeting Papers 1334, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-47, February.
  19. Andrés Erosa & Gustavo Ventura, 2000. "On Inflation as a Regressive Consumption Tax," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20001, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  20. Orazio Attanasio & Erik Hurst & Luigi Pistaferri, 2012. "The Evolution of Income, Consumption, and Leisure Inequality in The US, 1980-2010," NBER Working Papers 17982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Orazio Attanasio & Erich Battistin & Hidehiko Ichimura, 2004. "What Really Happened to Consumption Inequality in the US?," NBER Working Papers 10338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "The Reaction of Household Consumption to Predictable Changes in Social Security Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 959-973, September.
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