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Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3320-9938

Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Economics

Year Degree Awarded

2019

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

Gerald Epstein

Second Advisor

Michael Ash

Third Advisor

Adam Honig

Fourth Advisor

Shouvik Chakraborty

Subject Categories

Income Distribution | International Economics | Macroeconomics | Regional Economics

Abstract

This dissertation explores the effects of monetary policy on economic inequality, asset prices and unemployment in developing countries. Emerging market economies are structurally different from advanced economies as they are generally associated with greater financial frictions, underdeveloped financial markets, as well as both a high average level and unequal access to dollarized assets, among others. Thus, the study on the impact of monetary policy in emerging economies requires additional specifications. The first essay investigates the distributional consequences of monetary policy in the context of a small open economy framework. I show that wealthy households (represented by the top ten percent of the income distribution), who are more able to save in foreign currencies, gain in purchasing power of their incomes by hedging against domestic inflation. At the same time, since the poor (represented by the bottom fifty percent of the income distribution) retain larger share of liquid assets denominated in domestic currency, consequently leading them to bear a greater burden of local currency inflation. I also show that contractionary monetary policy is associated with periods of higher income inequality in emerging markets. The second essay presents a comprehensive practical analysis of Kazakhstani city-level housing prices. The key focus is to test whether there is a single, integrated Kazakhstani housing market, and hence to examine potential long-run relationships among the seven city housing prices series for which we have monthly data during the period 2014-2017. We also explore how monetary policy shifts and subsequent exchange rate shocks could affect the system of relative prices. The results obtained suggest that city-level house prices are weakly related across cities in the long run, and the interest rate channel of monetary policy currently is surprisingly weak in Kazakhstan. The third essay discusses a relatively new take on Inflation Targeting as a single-mandate monetary policy, which effectively exposes its many disadvantages. Our discussion first introduces the issues of coordination and conflict between fiscal and monetary policies. Our empirical exercise directly addresses the unemployment outcome of inflation targeting policy compared to other monetary policy settings. Our results show that while IT actually reduced the average inflation rate prior 2008 financial crisis, it has a negative effect on the unemployment rate in the longer term. The paper argues that the aggregate unemployment rate is an optimal social welfare-maximizing goal for central banks and should be used as a natural second target in a typical emerging market economy case.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Tuesday, September 01, 2020

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