Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Monetary policy, market structure and the income shares in the U.S

Bitros, George C. (2016): Monetary policy, market structure and the income shares in the U.S.

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Abstract

This paper investigates whether the monetary policy and the market structure have anything to do with the declining share of labor in the U.S in recent decades. For this purpose: (a) a dynamic general equilibrium model is constructed and used in conjunction with data over the 2000-2014 period to compute the income shares; (b) the latter are compared to those reported from various sources for significant differences, and (c) the influence of monetary policy is subjected to several statistical tests. With comfortable margins of confidence it is found that the interest rate the Federal Open Market Committee charges for providing liquidity to the economy is related positively with the shares of labor and profits and negatively with the share of interest. What these findings imply is that, by moving opposite to the equilibrium real interest rate, the relentless reduction of the federal funds rate since the 1980s may have contributed to the decline in the equilibrium share of labor, whereas the division of the equilibrium non-labor income between interest and profits has been evolving in favor of the former, because according to all indications the stock of producers’ goods in the U.S has been aging. As for the market structure, it is found that even if firms had and attempted to exercise monopoly power, it would be exceedingly difficult to exploit it because the demand of consumers’ goods is significantly price elastic. Should these results be confirmed by further research, they would go a long way towards explaining the deceleration of investment and economic growth.

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