Central Banking in the Age of Inequality

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm EDT
WebEx

Dr. Benjamin Braun of the Institute for Advanced Study

We are pleased to invite you to a new webinar series, “Facing Inequality”, hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy. This virtual series will focus on current and emerging inequality issues in the U.S. and around the globe. The series will bring attention to aspects of inequality being made increasingly relevant by the current COVID-19 pandemic and associated crises.

The series is organized under the stewardship of the following IIEP Director James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, IIEP Faculty Affiliate and Assistant Professor of History Trevor Jackson and Aditi Sahasrabudde, PhD Candidate in the Department of Government at Cornell University. The series is co-sponsored by the GW Interdisciplinary Inequality Series, co-organized by Prof. Jackson from the Department of History and Prof. Bryan Stuart from the Department of Economics.

The sixth event, “Central Banking in the Age of Inequality,” will feature Dr. Benjamin Braun of the Institute for Advanced Study. Monetary policy during the so-called Great Moderation was defined by the trinity of price stability as the primary goal; central bank independence as the institutional arrangement; and short-term open market operations as the central bank’s sole instrument. The distributional consequences of monetary policy were considered negligible, and inequality was not a concern for central bankers. After more than a decade of ever-expanding central bank interventions and balance sheets, this narrow conception of monetary policy looks unlikely to return anytime soon. Focusing primarily on the European Central Bank, this talk will examine the political economy of central bank actions beyond conventional open market operations. This includes large-scale asset purchases as well as central bank forays into regulatory policy-making, notably in the areas of financial and labor market policies. The unequal distributional consequences of these actions raise important questions about central bank mandates, independence, and democratic accountability.

Aditi Sahasrabudde, PhD Candidate in the Department of Government at Cornell University (discussant) 

Trevor Jackson, IIEP Faculty Affiliate and Assistant Professor of History (discussant) 

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