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Estate taxes, consumption externalities, and altruism

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  • Alonso-Carrera, Jaime
  • Caballé, Jordi
  • Raurich, Xavier

Abstract

We study how the introduction of consumption externalities affects the optimality of the dynamic equilibrium in an economy displaying dynastic altruism. When the bequest motive is inoperative consumption externalities affect the intertemporal margin between young and old consumption and thus modify the intertemporal path of aggregate consumption and capital. The optimal tax policy that solves this intertemporal suboptimality consists of a tax on capital income and a pay-as-you-go social security system. The latter solves the excess of capital accumulation due to the inoperativeness of the bequest motive and the former solves the suboptimal allocation of consumption due to consumption externalities. When the bequest motive is operative consumption externalities only cause an intratemporal misallocation of consumption but do not affect the optimality of the capital stock level. This suboptimal allocation of consumption implies in turn that the path of bequest deviates also from optimality. The optimal tax policy in this case consists of an estate tax and a capital income tax.

Suggested Citation

  • Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballé, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2008. "Estate taxes, consumption externalities, and altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1751-1764, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:7:p:1751-1764
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhu, Dongming & Galbraith, John W., 2010. "A generalized asymmetric Student-t distribution with application to financial econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, pages 297-305.
    2. Emmanuelle Augeraud-Veron & Mauro Bambi, 2012. "Does habit formation always increase the agents' desire to smooth consumption?," Discussion Papers 12/12, Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Bishnu, Monisankar, 2013. "Linking consumption externalities with optimal accumulation of human and physical capital and intergenerational transfers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 720-742.
    4. Nguyen-Van, Phu & Pham, Thi Kim Cuong, 2013. "Endogenous fiscal policies, environmental quality, and status-seeking behavior," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 32-40.
    5. Clément Bellet, 2017. "Essays on Inequality, Social Preferences and Consumer Behavior," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/vbu6kd1s68o, Sciences Po.
    6. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & El-Attar, Mayssun, 2012. "Income Inequality and Saving," IZA Discussion Papers 7083, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Richard Barnett & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel, 2013. "Deviant generations, Ricardian equivalence, and growth cycles," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(1), pages 367-396, January.
    8. Pierre Pestieau & Emmanuel Thibault, 2012. "Love thy children or money," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(1), pages 31-57, May.
    9. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Japaridze, Irakli, 2017. "Trickle-down consumption, financial deregulation, inequality, and indebtedness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 1-26.
    10. Takeo Hori, 2011. "The effects of consumption externalities in an R&D-based growth model with endogenous skilled and unskilled labor supply," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 29-55, January.
    11. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2012. "Envy and Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 949-973, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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