Belongia, Michael, and Peter Ireland. “Heterogeneity and Redistribution”. Boston College Working Papers in Economics 595, 2004.
In models with heterogeneous agents, issues of distribution and redistribution jump to the fore, raising the question: which policies--monetary or fiscal--work most effectively in transferring income from one group to another? To begin answering this question, this note works through a series of examples using Townsend's turnpike model. Two basic results emerge. First, the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates often appears as an obstacle to redistribution by monetary means. Second, assumptions made about the government's ability to raise tax revenue without distortion and to discriminate between agent types in distributing that tax revenue play a large role in determining whether agents prefer to redistribute income by monetary or fiscal means.