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Choosing between gifts and bequests: How taxes affect the timing of wealth transfers

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  • Joulfaian, David

Abstract

A number of theories have been advanced to explain the size and timing of intergenerational transfers. One factor only recently explored is the effects of taxes, and in particular the estate tax, on such transfers. This paper represents the first attempt to explore how capital gains and gift taxes, in addition to the estate tax, interact to influence incentives in the timing of transfers. Using estate tax data and exploiting variations in state inheritance, gift, and capital gains tax rates, this paper finds taxes to be an important consideration in the choice between gifts and bequests. In particular, each of capital gains and gift taxes are found to be important determinants of the timing of transfers. These findings are robust to a number of specifications that control for borrowing, charitable bequests, marital status, and the portfolio composition of wealth transfers.
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  • Joulfaian, David, 2005. "Choosing between gifts and bequests: How taxes affect the timing of wealth transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2069-2091, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:89:y:2005:i:11-12:p:2069-2091
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    Cited by:

    1. Niimi, Yoko, 2016. "To Avoid or Not to Avoid Inheritance Taxes? That Is the Question for Parents: Empirical Evidence from Japan," AGI Working Paper Series 2016-13, Asian Growth Research Institute.
    2. Boserup, Simon H. & Kopczuk, Wojciech & Kreiner, Claus T., 2016. "Born with a silver spoon? Danish evidence on wealth inequality in childhood," CEPR Discussion Papers 11490, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Marta Melguizo Garde, 2007. "La motivación de las transmisiones lucrativas entre generaciones de una familia: modelos teóricos y evidencia empírica," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 181(2), pages 81-118, June.
    4. Yang-Ming Chang, 2007. "Transfers and bequests: a portfolio analysis in a Nash game," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 277-295, March.
    5. James R. Hines Jr., 2013. "How Important Are Perpetual Tax Savings?," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 101-124.
    6. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9425-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. David Joulfaian, 2005. "Estate Taxes and Charitable Bequests: Evidence from Two Tax Regimes," Public Economics 0505004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Joulfaian, David, 2014. "To own or not to own your life insurance policy?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 120-127.
    9. Markus Diller & Maximilian Kittl, 2016. "A little less waiting, a little more action? Inheritance tax planning under lifespan uncertainty," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(9), pages 963-995, December.
    10. 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.
    11. McGarry, Kathleen, 2016. "Dynamic aspects of family transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 1-13.
    12. Dale R. DeBoer & Edward C. Hoang, 2017. "Inheritances and Bequest Planning: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 45-56, March.
    13. Yang-Ming Chang & Zijun Luo, 2015. "Endogenous division rules as a family constitution: strategic altruistic transfers and sibling competition," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 173-194, January.
    14. Nordblom, Katarina & Ohlsson, Henry, 2006. "Tax avoidance and intra-family transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1669-1680, September.
    15. James R. Hines Jr., 2013. "The Redistributive Potential of Transfer Taxation," Public Finance Review, , vol. 41(6), pages 885-903, November.
    16. Werner Güth & Kurt-Dieter Koschmieder & M. Vittoria Levati & Ev Martin, 2005. "How to Preserve a Fortune: An Experimental Comparison of Foundations and Direct Transfers to the Heir," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-33, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    17. Norifumi Yukutake & Shinichiro Iwata & Takako Idee, 2011. "Strategic Interaction between Inter Vivos Gifts and Housing Acquisition," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-201, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    18. Robert B. Avery & Daniel Grodzicki & Kevin B. Moore, 2013. "Estate vs. capital gains taxation: an evaluation of prospective policies for taxing wealth at the time of death," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Staffolani, Stefano & Valentini, Enzo, 2007. "Bequest taxation and efficient allocation of talents," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 648-672, July.

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    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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