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Wealth transfer taxation: a survey of the theoretical literature

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  • Cremer, Helmuth
  • Pestieau, Pierre

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to survey the theoretical literature on wealth transfer taxation. The focus is normative: we are looking at the design of an optimal tax structure from the standpoint of both equity and efficiency. The gist of this survey is that the optimal design crucially depends on the assumed bequest motives. Alternative bequest motives are thus analyzed either in isolation or combined. Even though there are as many results as models and as many models as combinations of bequest motives, the general conclusion is that the case for a zero taxation of inheritance is very weak.

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This chapter was published in:

  • S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2, 00.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism with number 2-16.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:givchp:2-16

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

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    Cited by:
    1. Johann K. Brunner & Susanne Pech, 2010. "Optimum taxation of bequests in a model with initial wealth," NRN working papers 2010-02, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. Brülhart, Marius & Parchet, Raphaël, 2014. "Alleged tax competition: The mysterious death of bequest taxes in Switzerland," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 63-78.
    3. Johann K. Brunner & Susanne Pech, 2008. "Optimum taxation of inheritances," Economics working papers 2008-06, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Carlos Garriga & Fernando Sánchez-Losada, 2009. "Estate taxation with warm-glow altruism," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 99-118, August.
    5. Frank Cowell, 2007. "Income distribution and inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3780, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Johann K. Brunner & Susanne Pech, 2011. "Optimal taxation of wealth transfers when bequests are motivated by joy of giving," Economics working papers 2011-12, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    7. Keuschnigg, Christian, 2011. "Intra- und intergenerative Gerechtigkeit in der Finanzpolitik," Economics Working Paper Series 1137, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    8. Marius Brülhart & Raphaël Parchet, 2010. "Alleged Tax Competition: The Mysterious Death of InheritanceTaxes in Switzerland," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 10.04, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    9. Robin Boadway, 2010. "Efficiency and Redistribution: An Evaluative Review of Louis Kaplow's The Theory of Taxation and Public Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 964-79, December.

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