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Economics of estate taxation: a brief review of theory and evidence

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  • Wojciech Kopczuk

Abstract

This paper provides a non-technical overview of the economic arguments related to the desirability of transfer taxation and a summary of empirical evidence surrounding these issues. Understanding optimal transfer taxation throughout the distribution requires understanding the nature of a bequest motive, a topic on which there is little consensus. However, I argue that progress still can be made on the question of desirability and optimal level of estate taxation at the top of the distribution, because interpersonal externalities implied by the presence of bequest motive are irrelevant from the welfare point of view when the focus is on the wealthy. I also examine the role of negative externalities from wealth concentration in providing justification for considering this type of taxation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15741.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Publication status: published as "Economics of estate taxation: A brief review of theory and evidence," Tax Law Review, 2009, 63(1), 139-157.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15741

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  1. La riqueza debería tributar más
    by Santiago Lago Peñas in Res Publica on 2012-08-21 16:08:03
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Elinder Mikael & Erixson Oscar & Ohlsson Henry, 2012. "The Impact of Inheritances on Heirs' Labor and Capital Income," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-37, December.
  3. Andrea Filippo Presbitero & Agnese Sacchi & Alberto Zazzaro, 2014. "Property Tax and Fiscal Discipline in OECD Countries," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 95, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  4. Jappelli, T. & Padula, M. & Pica, G., 2011. "GINI DP 21: Transfer Taxes and Inequality," GINI Discussion Papers 21, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  5. 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.
  6. Christoph Schinke, 2012. "Inheritance in Germany 1911 to 2009: A Mortality Multiplier Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 462, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Louis Kaplow, 2011. "An Optimal Tax System," NBER Working Papers 17214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pierre Pestieau & Emmanuel Thibault, 2012. "Love thy children or money," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 31-57, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Johann K. Brunner, 2012. "The Bequest Tax as Long-Term Care Insurance," CESifo Working Paper Series 3901, CESifo Group Munich.

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