IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On Inflation as a Regressive Consumption Tax

Evidence on the portfolio holdings and transaction patterns of households suggests that the burden of inflation is not evenly distributed. We build a monetary growth model consistent with key features of cross- sectional household data and use this framework to study the distributional impact of inflation. At the aggregate level, our model economy behaves similarly to standard monetary growth models within the representative agent abstraction. Inflation has, however, important distributional effects since it is effectively a regressive consumption tax. Thus, neglecting the distributional consequences of inflation may prove misleading in assessing the effects of inflation in our economy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found. If this is indeed the case, please notify ()

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics in its series UWO Department of Economics Working Papers with number 20001.

in new window

Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:20001
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Reference Centre, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  2. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Welfare Costs of Moderate Inflations," Papers 90-04, Rochester, Business - General.
  3. Arthur B. Kennickell & Martha Starr-McCluer & Annika E. Sunden, 1997. "Family finances in the U.S.: recent evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-24.
  4. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Edward C. Prescott, 1991. "Evaluating the welfare effects of alternative monetary arrangements," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-10.
  5. David Altig & Charles T. Carlstrom, 1991. "Inflation, personal taxes, and real output: a dynamic analysis," Working Paper 9102, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  6. Case M. Sprenkle, 1993. "The Case of the Missing Currency," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 175-184, Fall.
  7. Cole, H. & Stockman, A.C., 1988. "Specialization, Transactions Technologies, And Money Growth," RCER Working Papers 153, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Robert B. Avery & Gregory E. Elliehausen & Arthur B. Kennickell & Paul A. Spindt, 1986. "The use of cash and transaction accounts by American families," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Feb, pages 87-108.
  9. Orazio P. Attanasio & Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2002. "The Demand for Money, Financial Innovation, and the Welfare Cost of Inflation: An Analysis with Household Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 317-351, April.
  10. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1999. "Monetary policy and the well-being of the poor," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 21-49.
  11. Mercenier, Jean & Michel, Philippe, 1994. "Discrete-Time Finite Horizon Appromixation of Infinite Horizon Optimization Problems with Steady-State Invariance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 635-56, May.
  12. Al-Marhubi, Fahim, 1997. "A note on the link between income inequality and inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 317-319, September.
  13. Chatterjee, S. & Corbae, D., 1990. "Endogenous Market Participation and the General Equelibrium Value of Money," Working Papers 90-30a, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  14. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-78, May.
  15. Wolff, Edward N, 1983. "The Size Distribution of Household Disposable Wealth in the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 29(2), pages 125-46, June.
  16. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Extensive Margins and the Demand for Money at Low Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 961-991, October.
  17. Schreft, S L, 1992. "Transaction Costs and the Use of Cash and Credit," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 283-96, April.
  18. Kessler, Denis & Wolff, Edward N, 1991. "A Comparative Analysis of Household Wealth Patterns in France and the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 249-66, September.
  19. Robert B. Avery & Gregory E. Elliehausen & Arthur B. Kennickell & Paul A. Spindt, 1987. "Changes in the use of transaction accounts and cash from 1984 to 1986," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Mar, pages 179-196.
  20. Dotsey, Michael & Ireland, Peter, 1996. "The welfare cost of inflation in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-47, February.
  21. Gillman, Max, 1993. "The welfare cost of inflation in a cash-in-advance economy with costly credit," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 97-115, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:20001. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.