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Estate Taxes and Charitable Bequests by the Wealthy

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  • David Joulfaian

Abstract

Charitable bequests are an important source of philanthropic support. Unlike bequests to children which can be taxed at a maximum statutory rate of 0.55, such transfers are exempt from estate taxation. Thus, by lowering the price of charitable giving, the estate tax may influence the disposition of terminal wealth. In this paper, I examine the effects of estate taxation on charitable bequests using data from estate tax returns of decedents in 1992. The results suggest that the estate tax deduction is budget' efficient. The overall effects of the estate tax, however, are likely to be modest as charitable bequests are wealth elastic.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7663.

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Date of creation: Apr 2000
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Publication status: published as Joulfaian, David. "Estate Taxes And Charitable Bequests By The Wealthy," National Tax Journal, 2000, v53(3,Sep), Part 2, 743-763.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7663

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  1. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486.
  2. Auten, Gerald & Joulfaian, David, 1996. "Charitable contributions and intergenerational transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 55-68, January.
  3. Joulfaian, David, 1991. "Charitable Bequests and Estate Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(2), pages 169-80, June.
  4. Boskin, Michael J., 1976. "Estate taxation and charitable bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 27-56.
  5. Wilhelm, M.O., 1990. "Bequest Behavior And The Effect Of Heirs' Earnings: Testing The Altruistic Model Of Bequests," Papers 9-90-12, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  6. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot85-1, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Jon Bakija & William Gale & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "Charitable Bequests and Taxes on Inheritance and Estates: Aggregate Evidence from Across States and Time," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-18, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  2. Gale, William & Slemrod, Joel, 2001. "Death Watch for the Estate Tax?," MPRA Paper 56440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Atkinson, Anthony B. & Backus, Peter G. & Micklewright, John, 2012. "Charitable Bequests and Wealth at Death," IZA Discussion Papers 7014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Joulfaian, David, 2004. "Gift taxes and lifetime transfers: time series evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1917-1929, August.
  5. David Joulfaian, 2005. "Choosing Between Gifts and Bequests: How Taxes Affect the Timing of Wealth Transfers," NBER Working Papers 11025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Poterba, James, 2001. "Estate and gift taxes and incentives for inter vivos giving in the US," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 237-264, January.
  7. Joulfaian, David, 2001. "Choosing Between an Income Tax and a Wealth Transfer Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 3), pages 629-43, September.
  8. Michael Rushton, 2008. "Who pays? Who benefits? Who decides?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 293-300, December.
  9. David Joulfaian, 2005. "Estate Taxes and Charitable Bequests: Evidence from Two Tax Regimes," Public Economics 0505004, EconWPA.

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