The uneven impact of high inflation

Inflation indices – such as the national Consumer Price Indices (CPI) and the EU Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) – measure price changes for the overall economy, which may not reflect the inflation experience of an individual household or group of households. This paper contributes to previous studies of the distributive impact of recent high inflation in EU Member States. Producing more granular and recent results, this paper finds a substantial rise in effective inflation dispersion across households and confirms that lower-income households continue to experience higher inflation. This inflation gap remains even after energy prices have eased and when controlling for other household characteristics. Results also show that the distributive impact of inflation on household groups has varied over time, as changes in relative prices across the inflationary period have influenced the extent of the impact of inflation across population groups. Finally, differences in effective inflation rates have cumulated over time, particularly for households with lower-income and headed by people aged 60 years or more and with lower levels of education.

Available from October 03, 2023

In series:OECD Papers on Well-being and Inequalitiesview more titles