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Inflation, Inequality and Social Conflict

  • Chris Crowe

    (London School of Economics)

This paper presents and then tests a political economy model to analyze the observed positive relationship between income inequality and inflation. The model's key features are unequal access to both inflation-hedging opportunities and the political process. The model predicts that inequality and 'elite bias' in the political system interact to create incentives for inflation. The paper's empirical section focuses on this predicted interaction effect. The identification strategy involves using the end of the Cold War as a source of exogenous variation in the political environment. It finds robust evidence in support of the model.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://repec.org/mmfc04/69.pdf
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Paper provided by Money Macro and Finance Research Group in its series Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 with number 69.

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Date of creation: 17 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mmf:mmfc04:69
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.essex.ac.uk/afm/mmf/index.html

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  1. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman & Mark A. Wynne, 1997. "Inequality, inflation, and central bank independence," Working Papers 9705, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  3. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 1999. "What Level of Fixed Costs Can Reconcile Consumption and Stock Returns?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 969-997, October.
  4. Cukierman, Alex & Edwards, Sebastian & Tabellini, Guido, 1992. "Seigniorage and Political Instability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 537-55, June.
  5. Per Krusell & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 1997. "On the size of U.S. government: political economy in the neoclassical growth model," Staff Report 234, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Robert J. Shiller, 1996. "Why Do People Dislike Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 5539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Eliana Cardoso, 1992. "Inflation and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 4006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  9. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1998. "Monetary policy and the well-being of the poor," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 159-201.
  10. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  12. 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.
  13. Beetsma, Roel & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1992. "Does Inequality Cause Inflation? The Political Economy of Inflation, Taxation and Government Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Click, Reid W, 1998. "Seigniorage in a Cross-Section of Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(2), pages 154-71, May.
  15. Krusell, Per, 2002. "Time-consistent redistribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 755-769, May.
  16. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2000. "Inflation and the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2335, The World Bank.
  18. Fischer, Stanley & Huizinga, John, 1982. "Inflation, Unemployment, and Public Opinion Polls," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(1), pages 1-19, February.
  19. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
  20. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "The dynamics of government," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1331-1358, October.
  21. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1996. "Adoption of Financial Technologies: Implications for Money Demand and Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1358, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  23. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1994. "Wage Indexation and Time Consistency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(4), pages 941-50, November.
  24. By Ales BulÌr, 2001. "Income Inequality: Does Inflation Matter?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 48(1), pages 5.
  25. Anne Epaulard, 2003. "Macroeconomic Performance and Poverty Reduction," IMF Working Papers 03/72, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Sebastian Edwards & Guido Tabellini, 1991. "Political Instability, Political Weakness and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 3721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  28. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 2002. "Why has economic growth been more pro-poor in some states of India than others?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 381-400, August.
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