Policy brief

The effects of ultra-loose monetary policies on inequality

This Policy Contribution was prepared for the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. It assesses the impact of ultra-loose mo

Publishing date
24 June 2015
  • Low interest rates, asset purchases and other accommodative monetary policy measures tend to increase asset prices and thereby benefit the wealthier segments of society, at least in the short-term, given that asset holdings are mainly concentrated among richest households.
  • Such policies also support employment, economic activity, incomes and inflation, which can benefit the poor and middle-class, which have incomes more dependent on employment and which tend to spend a large share of their income on debt service.
  • Monetary policy should focus on its mandate, while fiscal and social policies should address widening inequalities by revising the national social redistribution systems for improved efficiency, intergenerational equity and fair burden sharing between the wealthy and poor.

About the authors

  • Zsolt Darvas

    Zsolt Darvas, a Hungarian citizen, joined Bruegel as a Visiting Fellow in September 2008 and continued his work at Bruegel as a Research Fellow from January 2009, before being appointed Senior Fellow from September 2013. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Corvinus University of Budapest.

    From 2005 to 2008, he was the Research Advisor of the Argenta Financial Research Group in Budapest. Before that, he worked at the research unit of the Central Bank of Hungary (1994-2005) where he served as Deputy Head.

    Zsolt holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Corvinus University of Budapest where he teaches courses in Econometrics but also at other institutions since 1994. His research interests include macroeconomics, international economics, central banking and time series analysis.

  • Grégory Claeys

    Grégory Claeys, a French and Spanish citizen, joined Bruegel as a research fellow in February 2014, before being appointed senior fellow in April 2020.

    Grégory’s research interests include international macroeconomics and finance, central banking and European governance. From 2006 to 2009 Grégory worked as a macroeconomist in the Economic Research Department of the French bank Crédit Agricole. Prior to joining Bruegel he also conducted research in several capacities, including as a visiting researcher in the Financial Research Department of the Central Bank of Chile in Santiago, and in the Economic Department of the French Embassy in Chicago. Grégory is also an Associate Professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris where he is teaching macroeconomics in the Master of Finance. He previously taught undergraduate macroeconomics at Sciences Po in Paris.

    He holds a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute (Florence), an MSc in economics from Paris X University and an MSc in management from HEC (Paris).

    Grégory is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

     

  • Thomas Walsh

    Thomas Walsh, a British citizen, worked as a Research Assistant at Bruegel in the area of macroeconomics from August 2014 to August 2015.

    He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics with a thesis entitled “The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound: A FAVAR Approach”.

    He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Bristol.

    Previously, Thomas worked at the European Central Bank as a Trainee in the Statistics Development and Coordination division, working primarily with the ECB’s SME access to finance survey, SAFE.

    He has also held positions as Research Assistant at the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow and as Intern at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol.
    His research interests cover macroeconomics and finance, particularly monetary policy transmission and central bank decision making. Thomas speaks English, conversational Spanish, and basic German.

  • Alvaro Leandro

    Álvaro Leandro Fernández-Gil, a Portuguese and Spanish citizen, worked at Bruegel as a Research Assistant from November 2014 until July 2016 in the area of Global and European Macroeconomics. Prior to this, Álvaro worked as a Research Assistant at “la Caixa” Research. He has also worked as an intern at the Sustainable Development Network of the World Bank. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Sussex, and a master in Specialised Economic Analysis from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Universitat Pompeu Fabra).

    The subject of his Master's thesis was the inter-connectivity in the financial system, and its consequences for systemic risk and regulation. At the University of Sussex he wrote a dissertation on Political Business Cycles.

    Álvaro’s research interests include Macroeconomics, International Finance and Political Economy.

    He is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

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