Chapter 2: Monetary policy and personal income distribution: a survey of the empirical literature
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The purpose of this paper is to conduct a survey of the recent literature that evaluates, in an empirical way, the distributional impacts of monetary policy. In the first two sessions, we discuss, respectively, the transmission channels of monetary policy to income distribution and the empirical strategies used to measure it. The majority of surveyed papers find that a contractionary monetary policy worsen the income distribution, and that an expansionist policy tends to improve it. Moreover, several papers found that the higher is the redistributive impact of fiscal policy, the lower is the impact of monetary policy on inequality. Another outcome with empirical support is the role of the labor share on total income: the higher is this share, the higher is the impact of monetary policy on inequality. The last point discussed is the asymmetric effects of contractionary and expansionary monetary policy. There is evidence that increases in interest rates have statistically significant effects on income distribution, whereas the effects of reductions in interest rates are not statistically different from zero. This empirical finding goes against the conventional view that the distributional effects of interest rate changes are temporary and likely to net out over the business cycle.

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