A 'Reverse Robin Hood'? The Distributional Implications of Non-Standard Monetary Policy for Italian Households
47 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2016
Date Written: July 21, 2016
We study empirically the distributional implications of a non-standard monetary policy expansion, considering the measures implemented by the Eurosystem in 2011-2012 and exploiting a rich micro dataset on Italian households’ income and wealth, in order to take contemporaneously into account a number of income- and wealth-related channels. Our results do not support the claim that an unconventional monetary loosening acts as a “reverse Robin Hood”. Larger benefits accrue to households at the bottom of the income scale, as the effects via the stimulus to economic activity and employment outweigh those via financial variables. The response of net wealth is U-shaped: less wealthy households take advantage of their leveraged positions, wealthier households of their larger share of financial assets. Overall, the effects on inequality are negligible. The results also suggest that the risk of an “expropriation of savers” is not likely to materialize, as the decrease in the remuneration of savings is compensated by support to labour income and by capital gains.
Keywords: monetary policy, interest rates, policy effects, inequality
JEL Classification: E52, E58, I14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation