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Real Estate Prices and the Importance of Bequest Taxation

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  • Giorgio Bellettini
  • Filippo Taddei

Abstract

Taxation of bequests and donations is an important determinant of real estate prices. We show that, ceteris paribus, a decrease in taxes on inter vivos donations and bequests brings about an increase in real estate prices. We provide a general equilibrium rationalization in the context of OLG economies featuring intergenerational altruism. This has relevant policy implications. We test the predictions of our theory employing a unique policy shock: the abolition of bequest and donation taxation that took place in Italy in 2001. Considering this policy shift provides the first evidence that a drastic reduction in bequest and donation taxation significantly increased real estate prices. Our estimates suggest that the 2001 abolition of taxation on bequests and donations alone led to an appreciation of residential real estate in excess of 10%.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-03/cesifo1_wp2577.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2577.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2577

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Keywords: real estate prices; donations; bequest taxation;

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References

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  1. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions," NBER Working Papers 11643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2007. "Inequality and Social Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 365-402.
  3. Hendershott, Patric H. & Pryce, Gwilym, 2006. "The sensitivity of homeowner leverage to the deductibility of home mortgage interest," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 50-68, July.
  4. Nathalie Girouard & Mike Kennedy & Paul van den Noord & Christophe André, 2006. "Recent House Price Developments: The Role of Fundamentals," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 475, OECD Publishing.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," NBER Working Papers 11129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pelizzon, Loriana & Weber, Guglielmo, 2003. "Are Household Portfolios Efficient? An Analysis Conditional on Housing," CEPR Discussion Papers 3890, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Carolina Fugazza & Massimo Guidolin & Giovanna Nicodano, 2006. "Investing for the long-run in European real estate," Working Papers 2006-028, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim & Robert J. Lemke & John Karl Scholz, 2001. "Do Estate and Gift Taxes Affect the Timing of Private Transfers?," NBER Working Papers 8333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Emmanuel Farhi & Ivan Werning, 2006. "Progressive Estate Taxation," NBER Working Papers 12600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bruce, Donald & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1999. "Fundamental Tax Reform and Residential Housing," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 249-271, December.
  11. Jonathan McCarthy & Richard W. Peach, 2004. "Are home prices the next "bubble"?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 1-17.
  12. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Is There a Bubble in the Housing Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 299-362.
  13. Glaeser, Edward L & Gyourko, Joseph & Saks, Raven, 2005. "Why Is Manhattan So Expensive? Regulation and the Rise in Housing Prices," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 331-69, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Norifumi Yukutake & Shinichiro Iwata & Takako Idee, 2011. "Strategic Interaction between Inter Vivos Gifts and Housing Acquisition," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-201, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Elek, Péter & Kiss, Áron, 2010. "Az ingatlanadó a magyar adórendszerben. Elméleti megfontolások és mikroszimulációs elemzés
    [Real-estate taxation in the Hungarian tax system. Theoretical considerations and a micro-simulati
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 389-411.
  3. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario & Pica, Giovanni, 2010. "Estate Taxation and Intergenerational Transfers," CEPR Discussion Papers 7701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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