The Effect of Black Market Premium and Asymmetric Inflation and Unemployment on Income Inequality in Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor/ University of Mazandaran

2 Master of Science in Economics Science, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar


The expansion of the dual exchange system (official and unofficial) increases the concerns about imbalances in macroeconomic variables, particularly, income inequality. Also, Inflation and unemployment are as the macroeconomic variables that can affect income inequality. Accordingly, the present study wants to investigate the role of the black market premium (Dollar) and the asymmetric effect of the unemployment rate and inflation on income inequality. For this purpose, based on the annual data between 1978 and 2017, a non-linear autoregressive distributed lag approach has been used in estimation. The results show that the black market premium in both linear and non-linear forms has a positive (undesirable) effect on income inequality. Unemployment in linear form has a positive (undesirable) effect on income inequality only in the long run. In non-linear form, the decreases in unemployment have a positive (desirable) effect on inequality in the short run. In the long run, both increases and decreases in unemployment have a direct impact on income inequality and the value of the desirable effect of decreases in unemployment is more than the undesirable effect of increases. Thus, the impact of asymmetric unemployment is confirmed on the income inequality in both the short and long run. Inflation in linear form has a direct effect on income inequality, but in non-linear form, both in the short and long run, decreases in inflation have a positive (desirable) effect on inequality. Hence, inflation also has an asymmetric effect on income inequality. Another finding is that the desirable effect of decreases in unemployment on income inequality is more than the desired effect of decreases in inflation on income inequality.


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