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THE BURDEN OF UNANTICIPATED INFLATION: ANALYSIS OF AN OVERLAPPING-GENERATIONS MODEL WITH PROGRESSIVE INCOME TAXATION AND STAGGERED PRICES

Burkhard Heer () and Alfred Maussner ()

Macroeconomic Dynamics, 2012, vol. 16, issue 02, 278-308

Abstract: Inflation is often associated with a loss for the poor in the medium and long term. We study the short-run redistributive effects of unanticipated inflation in a dynamic optimizing sticky price model of the business cycle. Agents are heterogeneous with regard to their age and their productivity. We emphasize three channels of the effect of inflation on income distribution: (1) factor prices, (2) “bracket creep,” and (3) sticky pensions. Unanticipated inflation that is caused by monetary expansion is found to reduce income inequality. In particular, an increase of the money growth rate by one standard deviation results in a 1% drop of the Gini coefficient of disposable income if extra tax revenues are transferred lump-sum to the households.

Date: 2012
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