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Estate Taxation, Entrepreneurship, and Wealth

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  • Marco Cagetti
  • Mariacristina De Nardi

Abstract

This paper studies the estate tax in a quantitative framework with business investment, borrowing constraints, estate transmission, and wealth inequality. We find that the estate tax has little effect on the saving and investment decisions of small businesses, but does distort the decisions of larger firms, thereby reducing aggregate output and savings. Removing such distortions by eliminating the estate tax does not necessarily imply that everyone would be better off. If other taxes were raised to reestablish fiscal balance, those at the top of the wealth distribution would experience a large welfare gain, but most of the population would lose. (JEL D31, E21, H22)

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2009. "Estate Taxation, Entrepreneurship, and Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 85-111, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:1:p:85-111
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.85
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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