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Bequest Taxes and Accumulation of Household Wealth: U.S.-Japan Comparison

In: The Political Economy of Tax Reform, NBER-EASE Volume 1

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  • Thomas A. Barthold
  • Takatoshi Ito

Abstract

The objective of this paper is two-fold. First, we describe and compare the gift and bequest (estate) tax systems in the United States and Japan. Second, we use tax data to estimate the magnitude of intergenerational transfers. The magnitude of intergenerational transfers provides aid in determining how much outstanding wealth is obtained through intergenerational transfers, an issue of current controversy. In both Japan and the United States, a substantial portion of wealth, and especially of land in Japan, is bequeathed from one generation to the next.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Takatoshi Ito & Anne O. Krueger, 1992. "The Political Economy of Tax Reform, NBER-EASE Volume 1," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_92-2, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 8520.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:8520

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    References

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    1. Fumio Hayashi, 1986. "Why Is Japan's Saving Rate So Apparently High?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 147-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Modigliani, Franco, 1988. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers and Life Cycle Saving in the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 15-40, Spring.
    3. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-76, December.
    4. Hurd, Michael D, 1987. "Savings of the Elderly and Desired Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 298-312, June.
    5. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1987. "Does the Estate Tax Raise Revenue?," NBER Working Papers 2087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1988. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 41-58, Spring.
    8. Alicia H. Munnell & C. Nicole Ernsberger, 1988. "Wealth transfer taxation: the relative role for estate and income taxes," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 3-28.
    9. Hayashi, Fumio & Ando, Albert & Ferris, Richard, 1988. "Life cycle and bequest savings A study of Japanese and U.S. households based on data from the 1984 NSFIE and the 1983 survey of consumer finances," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 450-491, December.
    10. David, Martin & Menchik, Paul L, 1985. "The Effect of Social Security on Lifetime Wealth Accumulation and Bequests," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 52(208), pages 421-34, November.
    11. Fumio Hayashi, 1989. "Is Japan's saving rate high?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-9.
    12. Menchik, Paul L & David, Martin, 1983. "Income Distribution, Lifetime Savings, and Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 672-90, September.
    13. Cox, Donald, 1990. "Intergenerational Transfers and Liquidity Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 187-217, February.
    14. Hayashi, Fumio & Ito, Takatoshi & Slemrod, Joel, 1988. "Housing finance imperfections, taxation, and private saving: A comparative simulation analysis of the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 215-238, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Miguel Sánchez Romero & Naohiro Ogawa & Rikiya Matsukura, 2013. "To give or not to give: bequest estimate and wealth impact based on a CGE model with realistic demography in Japan," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2013-012, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Ohtake, F. & Shintani, M., 1995. "The Effects of Demographics on the Japanese Housing Market," ISER Discussion Paper, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University 0391, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    3. Takatoshi Ito & Keiko Nosse Hirono, 1993. "Efficiency of the Tokyo Housing Market," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 11(1), pages 1-32, July.
    4. Bernheim, B. Douglas, 2002. "Taxation and saving," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 1173-1249 Elsevier.
    5. Ken Yamada, 2003. "Intra-family Transfers in Japan: Intergenerational Co-residence, Distance, andContact," ISER Discussion Paper, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University 0575, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    6. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2009. "Do Bequests Increase or Decrease Wealth Inequalities?," NBER Working Papers 14639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2002. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic or Dynastic?," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 53(1), pages 26-54.
    8. Shimono Keiko & Ishikawa Miho, 2002. "Estimating the Size of Bequests in Japan: 1986-1994," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 1-21.
    9. Kitamura, Yukinobu & Takayama, Noriyuki & Arita, Fumiko, 2000. "Household Savings in Japan Revisited," Discussion Paper, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University 6, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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