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Income and Substitution Effects of Estate Taxation


  • James R. Hines


This paper evaluates the effect of estate taxes on labor supply. The analysis decomposes the effect of estate taxation into the substitution effect of relative price changes and the two income effects for which the estate tax is responsible. These two income effects arise from tax burdens on those who leave estates plus tax burdens on those who receive them. Despite the double income burden of the estate tax, existing empirical evidence suggests that the net effect of estate taxation on aggregate labor supply is uncertain.

Suggested Citation

  • James R. Hines, 2013. "Income and Substitution Effects of Estate Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 484-488, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:484-88 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.484

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "The Carnegie Conjecture: Some Empirical Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 413-435.
    2. Kaplow, Louis, 1995. "A note on subsidizing gifts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 469-477, November.
    3. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2010. "Progressive Estate Taxation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 635-673.
    4. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 827-862, July.
    5. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2003. "The Trick Is to Live: Is the Estate Tax Social Security for the Rich?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1318-1341, December.
    6. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph P. Lupton, 2007. "To Leave or Not to Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 207-235.
    7. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. De Nardi, Mariacristina & Yang, Fang, 2016. "Wealth inequality, family background, and estate taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 130-145.
    2. James R Hines Jr & Niklas Potrafke & Marina Riem & Christoph Schinke, 2015. "Inter vivos transfers of ownership in family firms," Working Papers 1523, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    3. Erlend Eide Bø & Elin Halvorsen & Thor Olav Thoresen, 2015. "Heterogeneity of the Carnegie Effect," CESifo Working Paper Series 5339, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Andreas Eder, 2016. "The impact of inheritances on the retirement behavior of older Europeans," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 43(2), pages 299-331, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue


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