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Redistributive Policy Shocks and Monetary Policy with Heterogeneous Agents

Bahl, Ojasvita and Ghate, Chetan and Mallick, Debdulal (2020): Redistributive Policy Shocks and Monetary Policy with Heterogeneous Agents.

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Abstract

Governments in EMDEs routinely intervene in agriculture markets to stabilize food prices in the wake of adverse domestic or external shocks. Such interventions typically involve a large increase in the procurement and redistribution of food, which we call a redistributive policy shock. What is the impact of a redistributive policy shock on the sectoral and aggregate dynamics of inflation, and the distribution of consumption amongst rich and poor households? To address this, we build a tractable two-sector (agriculture and manufacturing) two-agent (rich and poor) New Keynesian DSGE model with redistributive policy shocks. We calibrate the model to the Indian economy. We show that for an inflation targeting central bank, consumer heterogeneity matters for whether monetary policy responses to a variety of shocks raises aggregate welfare or not. Our paper contributes to a growing literature on understanding the role of consumer heterogeneity in monetary policy.

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