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Pareto-Improving Bequest Taxation

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  • Grossmann, Volker

    ()
    (University of Fribourg)

  • Poutvaara, Panu

    ()
    (University of Munich)

Abstract

Altruistic parents may transfer resources to their offspring by providing education, and by leaving bequests. We show that in the presence of wage taxation, a small bequest tax may improve efficiency in an overlapping-generations framework with only intended bequests, by enhancing incentives of parents to invest in their children’s education. This result holds even if the wage tax rate is held constant when introducing bequest taxation. We also calculate an optimal mix of wage and bequest taxes with alternative parameter combinations. In all cases, the optimal wage tax rate is clearly higher than the optimal bequest tax rate, but the latter is generally positive when the required government revenue in the economy is sufficiently high.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2277.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Tax and Public Finance, 2009, 16 (5), 647-669
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2277

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Keywords: bequest taxation; bequests; education; Pareto improvement;

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  1. Philippe Michel & Pierre Pestieau, 2004. "Fiscal Policy in an Overlapping Generations Model with Bequest-as-Consumption," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(3), pages 397-407, 08.
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  8. Bossmann, Martin & Kleiber, Christian & Walde, Klaus, 2007. "Bequests, taxation and the distribution of wealth in a general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1247-1271, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Staffolani, Stefano & Valentini, Enzo, 2007. "Bequest taxation and efficient allocation of talents," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 648-672, July.
  2. Bossmann, Martin & Kleiber, Christian & Walde, Klaus, 2007. "Bequests, taxation and the distribution of wealth in a general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1247-1271, August.
  3. Anderberg, Dan, 2013. "Post-compulsory education: Participation and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 134-150.
  4. Stefano STAFFOLANI & Enzo VALENTINI, 2006. "Bequest Taxation, allocation of talents, education and efficiency," Working Papers 248, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  5. Bas Jacobs, 2013. "Optimal redistributive tax and education policies in general equilibrium," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 312-337, April.
  6. Chih-Chin Ho & Ching-Yang Lin & Cheng-Tao Tang, 2013. "How Do Income and Bequest Taxes Affect Income Inequality? The Role of Parental Transfers," Working Papers EMS_2013_10, Research Institute, International University of Japan.

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