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Wealth Distribution and Optimal Inheritance Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies with Intergenerational Transfers

  • Heer, Burkhard

Intergenerational transfers are introduced into a general equilibrium life-cycle model in order to explain observed levels of wealth heterogeneity. In our overlapping generations model, heterogenous agents face uncertain lifetime and leave both accidental and voluntary bequests to their children. Furthermore, agents face stochastic employment opportunities. The model is calibrated with regard to the characteristics of the US economy. Our results indicate that bequests only account for a small proportion of observed wealth heterogeneity. The introduction of an inheritance tax increases both welfare, as measured by the average lifetime utility of a newborn, and equality of the wealth distribution. Copyright 2001 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 103 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 445-65

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:103:y:2001:i:3:p:445-65
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