Journal Article
No. 2018-62 | October 15, 2018
Computational evidence on the distributive properties of monetary policy


Empirical studies have pointed out that monetary policy may significantly affect income and wealth inequality. To investigate the distributive properties of monetary policy the authors resort to an agent-based macroeconomic model where firms, households and one bank interact on the basis of limited information and adaptive rules-of-thumb. Simulations show that the model can replicate fairly well a number of stylized facts, especially those relative to the business cycle. The authors address the issue using three types of computational experiments, including a global sensitivity analysis carried out through a novel methodology which greatly reduces the computational burden of simulations. The result emerges that a more restrictive monetary policy increases inequality, even though this effect may differ across groups of households. In addition, it appears to be attenuated if the bank’s willingness to lend is lower. The overall analysis suggests that inequality can constitute valuable information also for central banks.

The Matlab file to simulate the model is available from the authors upon request.

JEL Classification:

C63, D31, D50, E52


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Cite As

Siyan Chen and Saul Desiderio (2018). Computational evidence on the distributive properties of monetary policy. Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, 12 (2018-62): 1–32.

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