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Intergenerational altruism and house prices: evidence from bequest tax reforms in Italy

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  • G. Bellettini
  • F. Taddei
  • G. Zanella

Abstract

We identify the degree of intergenerational altruism in an OLG framework à la Barro exploiting the quasi-experimental variation generated by reforms of bequest taxation (estate or inheritance tax, in the U.S.) and taxes on inter vivos real estate donations (gift tax, in the U.S.) that were enacted in Italy between 2000 and 2001. Employing a unique data set containing information on the housing stock and house prices in 13 large Italian cities between 1993 and 2004, we identify the structural parameter of interest via the effect of changes in the tax rate on house prices. We find that the intergenerational altruism parameter is about 20%. Given the possible anticipation of the reform this estimate should be interpreted as a lower bound.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Bellettini & F. Taddei & G. Zanella, 2014. "Intergenerational altruism and house prices: evidence from bequest tax reforms in Italy," Working Papers wp947, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp947
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2010. "Progressive Estate Taxation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 635-673.
    2. Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula & Giovanni Pica, 2014. "Do Transfer Taxes Reduce Intergenerational Transfers?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 248-275, February.
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    5. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2007. "Inequality and Social Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 365-402.
    6. Barczyk, Daniel, 2016. "Ricardian equivalence revisited: Deficits, gifts and bequests," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1-24.
    7. Shinichi Nishiyama, 2002. "Bequests, Inter Vivos Transfers, and Wealth Distribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 892-931, October.
    8. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2010. "Economics of estate taxation: a brief review of theory and evidence," NBER Working Papers 15741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. Joel Slemrod & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2000. "The Impact of the Estate Tax on the Wealth Accumulation and Avoidance Behavior of Donors," NBER Working Papers 7960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Bellettini Giorgio & Zanella Giulio & Taddei Filippo, 2013. "Bequest taxes, donations, and house prices," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-25, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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