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Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable

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  • Cremer, Helmuth
  • Pestieau, Pierre
  • Rochet, Jean-Charles

Abstract

This paper extends the Atkinson-Stiglitz model of direct and indirect taxation to a dynamic setting with two unobservable characteristics: productive ability and inherited wealth. Bequests are motivated by the "joy of giving". A child's inheritance is a random variable with a probability distribution that depends on his parent's investment in a "bequest technology". Public borrowing is assumed and implies the modified golden rule. We study the optimal tax policy when two instruments are available: a non-linear (wage) income tax and a proportional tax on capital income. We show that the second instrument ought, in general, to be used but that the tax rate is not necessarily positive. However, a positive tax rate is more likely when there is a positive correlation between inherited wealth and innate ability.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2003. "Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(11), pages 2475-2490, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:87:y:2003:i:11:p:2475-2490
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