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ECB Study Finds Stimulus Eased Rather Than Worsened Inequality

  • Record-low rates and asset purchases helped reduce joblessness
  • Gap between Europe’s rich and poor is more a structural issue

Unprecedented stimulus by the European Central Bank helped ease income inequality in the euro zone, with poorer households benefiting most, according to a study.

A paper published Wednesday shows that negative interest rates and large-scale bond purchases have made a significant contribution to reducing unemployment, especially at the lower end of the pay scale. With their findings, the economists -- working at the ECB and Princeton University -- are refuting criticism that unconventional policy has mainly supported the rich by boosting prices for real estate or stocks.