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Wealth Transfers and Net Wealth at Death: Evidence from the Italian Inheritance Tax Records 1995–2016

In: Measuring Distribution and Mobility of Income and Wealth

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  • Paolo Acciari
  • Salvatore Morelli

Abstract

In this paper we describe a novel source of data on the full record of inheritance tax files in Italy, covering up to 63% of total deceased. The work documents a substantial rise in the total value of inheritance and gifts as a share of national income, from 8.4% in 1995 to 15.1% in 2016. Consistent with the increasing role of total personal net wealth in the economy, the weight of inheritance and gifts in Italy appears relatively high by international standards. Over the same period, total wealth left at death has also become increasingly concentrated. The estates valued at least one million Euro were worth 18.7% of total estate in the mid 1990s and 24.8% in 2016. This paper also documents that revenues collected from the inheritance tax underwent a large decline from 0.14% to 0.06% of total tax revenue between 1995 and 2016. Data also allow a disaggregated analysis by demographic and geographic characteristics.
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  • Paolo Acciari & Salvatore Morelli, 2020. "Wealth Transfers and Net Wealth at Death: Evidence from the Italian Inheritance Tax Records 1995–2016," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Distribution and Mobility of Income and Wealth, pages 175-203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:14451
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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Acciari & Facundo Alvaredo & Salvatore Morelli, 2021. "The concentration of personal wealth in Italy 1995-2016," PSE Working Papers halshs-03226113, HAL.
    2. Michele Cantarella & Andrea Neri & Giovanna Ranalli, 2021. "Mind the wealth gap: a new allocation method to match micro and macro statistics on household wealth," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 646, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Fanny Landaud & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2022. "The (Un)Importance of Inheritance," CESifo Working Paper Series 9566, CESifo.
    4. Yonatan Berman & Salvatore Morelli, 2021. "On the Distribution of Estates and the Distribution of Wealth: Evidence from the Dead," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Distribution and Mobility of Income and Wealth, pages 205-219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. , Stone Center & Nolan, Brian & Palomino, Juan & Van Kerm, Philippe & Morelli, Salvatore, 2020. "Intergenerational Transfers by Size and Wealth Inequality in Rich Countries," SocArXiv eyh8s, Center for Open Science.
    6. Morelli, Salvatore & Nolan, Brian & Palomino, Juan & Van Kerm, Philippe, 2021. "Inheritance, Gifts and the Wealth Deficit of Low-Income Households," SocArXiv 2mpuh, Center for Open Science.
    7. Salvatore Morelli, 2020. "The Dynamics of Wealth Concentration: Thoughts on Tony Atkinson’s Contributions," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 6(1), pages 197-205, March.
    8. Luigi Cannari & Giovanni D�Alessio, 2018. "Wealth inequality in Italy: reconstruction of 1968-75 data and comparison with recent estimates," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 428, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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