IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/18170.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • Olivier Coibion
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko
  • Lorenz Kueng
  • John Silvia

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Lorenz Kueng & John Silvia, 2012. "Innocent Bystanders? Monetary Policy and Inequality in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 18170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18170
    Note: EFG IFM ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18170.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2005. "What Explains the Stock Market's Reaction to Federal Reserve Policy?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1221-1257, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
    4. Congressional Budget Office, 2011. "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007," Reports 42729, Congressional Budget Office.
    5. Mark Aguiar & Mark Bils, 2015. "Has Consumption Inequality Mirrored Income Inequality?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(9), pages 2725-2756, September.
    6. Christina D. Romer & David Romer, 1999. "Monetary policy and the well-being of the poor," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 84(Q I), pages 21-49.
    7. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    8. John B. Taylor, 2007. "Housing and monetary policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 463-476.
    9. 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.
    10. Peter N. Ireland, 2007. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's Inflation Target: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1851-1882, December.
    11. Dirk Kreuger & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory," Working Papers 02-15, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    12. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148, Elsevier.
    13. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 763-801, June.
    14. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2011. "Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation, and the Great Moderation: An Alternative Interpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 341-370, February.
    15. Congressional Budget Office, 2011. "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007," Reports 42729, Congressional Budget Office.
    16. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-178, May.
    17. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri & Luigi Pistaferri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Cross Sectional Facts for Macroeconomists," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 1-14, January.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Michael Kumhof & Romain Rancière & Pablo Winant, 2015. "Inequality, Leverage, and Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1217-1245, March.
    21. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    22. J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, December.
    23. Jonathan A. Parker & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2009. "Who Bears Aggregate Fluctuations and How?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 399-405, May.
    24. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-1069, June.
    25. 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.
    26. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P.A., 2009. "Perhaps the 1970s FOMC did what it said it did," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 842-855, September.
    27. 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.
    28. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 445-462, August.
    29. Olivier Coibion, 2012. "Are the Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks Big or Small?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-32, April.
    30. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
    31. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    32. Monika Piazzesi, 2002. "The Fed and Interest Rates - A High-Frequency Identification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 90-95, May.
    33. Boivin, Jean, 2006. "Has U.S. Monetary Policy Changed? Evidence from Drifting Coefficients and Real-Time Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1149-1173, August.
    34. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
    35. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
    36. Congressional Budget Office, 2011. "Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007," Reports 42729, Congressional Budget Office.
    37. 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 371-392, June.
    38. 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 221-247, February.
    39. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Ramey, V.A., 2016. "Macroeconomic Shocks and Their Propagation," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 71-162, Elsevier.
    3. Olivier Coibion, 2012. "Are the Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks Big or Small?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-32, April.
    4. Stock, J.H. & Watson, M.W., 2016. "Dynamic Factor Models, Factor-Augmented Vector Autoregressions, and Structural Vector Autoregressions in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 415-525, Elsevier.
    5. Ashesh Rambachan & Neil Shephard, 2019. "Econometric analysis of potential outcomes time series: instruments, shocks, linearity and the causal response function," Papers 1903.01637, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2020.
    6. Alquist, Ron & Bhattarai, Saroj & Coibion, Olivier, 2020. "Commodity-price comovement and global economic activity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 41-56.
    7. Michael D. Bauer & Eric T. Swanson, 2022. "A Reassessment of Monetary Policy Surprises and High-Frequency Identification," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2022, volume 37, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Wong, Arlene, 2014. "Population Aging and the Aggregate Effects of Monetary Policy," MPRA Paper 57096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Imran H. Shah & Ian Corrick & Abdul Saboor, 2018. "How should Central Banks Respond to Non-neutral Inflation Expectations?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 321-351, April.
    10. James D. Hamilton & Seth Pruitt & Scott Borger, 2011. "Estimating the Market-Perceived Monetary Policy Rule," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 1-28, July.
    11. Andrea Colciago & Anna Samarina & Jakob de Haan, 2019. "Central Bank Policies And Income And Wealth Inequality: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 1199-1231, September.
    12. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Why Are Target Interest Rate Changes So Persistent?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 126-162, October.
    13. Mr. Olivier Coibion & Mr. Ron Alquist, 2013. "The Comovement in Commodity Prices: Sources and Implications," IMF Working Papers 2013/140, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2011. "Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation, and the Great Moderation: An Alternative Interpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 341-370, February.
    15. Gorodnichenko, Y & Coibion, O, 2016. "How inertial is monetary policy? implications for the fed’s exit strategy," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2qc6f09b, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    16. Champagne, Julien & Sekkel, Rodrigo, 2018. "Changes in monetary regimes and the identification of monetary policy shocks: Narrative evidence from Canada," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 72-87.
    17. Robin Braun & Ralf Brüggemann, 2020. "Identification of SVAR Models by Combining Sign Restrictions With External Instruments," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2020-01, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    18. Carrillo, Julio A., 2012. "How well does sticky information explain the dynamics of inflation, output, and real wages?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 830-850.
    19. Jonathan Fisher & David S. Johnson & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2015. "Inequality of Income and Consumption in the U.S.: Measuring the Trends in Inequality from 1984 to 2011 for the Same Individuals," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(4), pages 630-650, December.
    20. David O. Lucca & Francesco Trebbi, 2009. "Measuring Central Bank Communication: An Automated Approach with Application to FOMC Statements," NBER Working Papers 15367, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

    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:nbr:nberwo:18170. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.