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Wealth and Politics: Studies on Inter Vivos Transfers and Partisan Effects


  • Christoph Schinke



The dissertation elaborates on topics that are related to (i) intergenerational transfers of wealth and to (ii) how government ideology and elections influence outcomes (income inequality and budget consolidation) and political processes (fiscal planning and policy advice). The dissertation consists of six studies. The first study investigates the determi-nants of inter vivos transfers of firm ownership. The results show that owners of larger firms, and firms with strong current business conditions, transferred ownership at higher rates than others. Inter vivos transfer rates also rose following a 2009 tax reduction on transfers of business assets. The second study delves into how the 2009 transfer tax re-form influenced individual inter vivos transfers in Germany. The results do not show that the reform influenced transfers within the nuclear family, whereas transfers to close relatives and to unrelated recipients increased by about 30 percent. The third study de-scribes how government ideology and globalization were associated with top income shares in OECD countries. The fourth study shows that German state politicians’ and governments’ words differed from actions regarding budget consolidation and the Ger-man debt brake. The fifth study describes how government ideology and upcoming elections influenced fiscal planning in German states. The results show that East German state governments underestimated the size of government in pre-election years. The sixth study investigates how ideological positions of German economic research insti-tutes influenced policy advice in the Joint Economic Forecast.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph Schinke, 2016. "Wealth and Politics: Studies on Inter Vivos Transfers and Partisan Effects," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 67, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifobei:67

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    balanced-budget rule; decision making in committees; debt brake; electoral cycles; expressive rhetoric; family firms; fiscal forecasts; globalization; government ideology; inequality; inter vivos transfers; Joint Economic Forecast of German economic research institutes; minority voting; nuclear family; panel data models; partisan theory; public debt; SOEP; tax reform; transfer taxes;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H80 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - General
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative


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