Wealth distribution and monetary policy
Working Paper 3/2020
We observe differences in the net wealth distribution by age among European countries. The net wealth distribution in Western EU countries is consistent with the life cycle hypothesis. However, in Eastern EU countries, the wealth distribution is skewed towards younger ages. The aim of the paper is twofold: first, we study the characteristics of economies leading to differences in the net wealth distribution by age; second, we evaluate the impact of these differences on the transmission of monetary policy. To do so, we develop a modified New Keynesian model where the demand side is represented by a multi-period overlapping generation setup, and the supply side of the economy follows the New Keynesian framework. The model is used to analyse the interaction between monetary policy and wealth accumulation originated by demographics and the productivity gap among generations in a coherent general equilibrium model. The HFCS database is used to calibrate the model for two groups of European countries. We find that the shape of net wealth distribution by age has an important bearing on the effectiveness and hence conduct of monetary policy.
Keywords: overlapping generations model, New Keynesian model, wealth distribution, monetary policy
JEL code: E32, E52, J11