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Estate Taxes, Consumption Externalities, and Altruism

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We study how the introduction of consumption externalities affects the efficiency of the dynamic equilibrium in an economy displaying dynastic altruism. When the bequest motive is inoperative consumption externalities affect the intertemporal margin between young and old consumption and thus modify the intertemporal path of consumption and capital. The optimal tax policy that solves this intertemporal inefficiency consists of a tax on capital income and a pay-as-you-go social security system. The later solves the overaccumulation of capital due to the inoperativeness of the bequest motive and the former solves the inefficient allocation of consumption due to consumption externalities. When the bequest motive is operative consumption externalities only cause an intratemporal inefficiency that affects the allocation of consumption between the generations living in the same period but do not affect the optimality of the capital stock level. This suboptimal allocation of consumption implies in turn that the path of bequest is also suboptimal. The optimal tax policy in this case consists of an estate tax and a capital income tax. The estate tax corrects the intratemporal inefficiency but generates an intertemporal inefficiency which is corrected by means of an appropriate capital income tax.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 658.05.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: 08 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:658.05

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Keywords: Consumption externalities; bequests; optimal tax rates;

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  1. de la Croix, David, 1996. "The Dynamics of Bequeathed Tastes," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1996004, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballe, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2005. "Growth, habit formation, and catching-up with the Joneses," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1665-1691, August.
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  7. David DE LA CROIX & Philippe MICHEL, 2001. "Altruism and Self-Restraint," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 63-64, pages 233-259.
  8. Abel, Andrew B, 1986. "Capital Accumulation and Uncertain Lifetimes with Adverse Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1079-97, September.
  9. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballe & Xavier Raurich, 2001. "Consumption Externalities, Habit Formation, and Equilibrium Efficiency," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 499.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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  12. Croix, David de la & Michel, Philippe, 1999. "Optimal growth when tastes are inherited," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 519-537, February.
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  17. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2002:i:7:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2012. "Envy and Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 949-973, 09.
  2. Thi Kim Cuong PHAM & Phu NGUYEN-VAN, 2009. "Endogenous Fiscal Policies, Environmental Quality, and Status-Seeking Behavior," Working Papers of BETA 2009-22, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  3. Pierre Pestieau & Emmanuel Thibault, 2012. "Love thy children or money," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 31-57, May.
  4. Monisankar Bishnu, 2011. "Linking consumption externalities with optimal accumulation of human and physical capital and intergenerational transfers," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 11-01, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  5. Richard Barnett & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel, 2013. "Deviant generations, Ricardian equivalence, and growth cycles," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 367-396, January.
  6. Takeo Hori, 2011. "The effects of consumption externalities in an R&D-based growth model with endogenous skilled and unskilled labor supply," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 29-55, January.
  7. Emmanuelle Augeraud-Veron & Mauro Bambi, 2012. "Does habit formation always increase the agents' desire to smooth consumption?," Discussion Papers 12/12, Department of Economics, University of York.
  8. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & El-Attar, Mayssun, 2012. "Income Inequality and Saving," IZA Discussion Papers 7083, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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