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Estate tax and lifetime income inequality

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  • Jiang, Lily
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    Abstract

    This paper constructs a heterogeneous, intertemporal general equilibrium framework which integrates both intended and unintended bequest motives to examine the long-run effects of an estate tax on the inequality of lifetime income. The results are ambiguous in general and sensitive to the type of transfer motive involved. We find that in the purely intended bequest case, an estate tax increases the steady-state inequality of net lifetime income in the case where people's elasticity of intertemporal substitution is greater than one. However, in the purely unintended bequest case, the effect of an estate tax on inequality is dependent on the probability of survival.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 613-619

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:27:y:2010:i:3:p:613-619

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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    Keywords: Transfer motives Estate tax Income inequality;

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    1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1978. "Notes on Estate Taxes, Redistribution, and the Concept of Balanced Growth Path Incidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages S137-50, April.
    2. Caballe, Jordi, 1995. "Endogenous Growth, Human Capital, and Bequests in a Life-Cycle Model," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 156-81, January.
    3. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence Kotlikoff, 1995. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Laitner, John & Ohlsson, Henry, 2001. "Bequest motives: a comparison of Sweden and the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 205-236, January.
    5. Hurd, Michael D, 1987. "Savings of the Elderly and Desired Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 298-312, June.
    6. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2001. "Non-linear taxation of bequests, equal sharing rules and the tradeoff between intra- and inter-family inequalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 35-53, January.
    7. Menchik, Paul L & David, Martin, 1983. "Income Distribution, Lifetime Savings, and Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 672-90, September.
    8. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1992. "How Strong are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," NBER Working Papers 2942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
    10. Tomes, Nigel, 1981. "The Family, Inheritance, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 928-58, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gahramanov, Emin, 2013. "Survival misperception, time inconsistency, and implications for life-cycle saving and welfare," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 539-550.

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