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Pareto-Improving Bequest Taxation

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  • Volker Grossmann
  • Panu Poutvaara

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Abstract

Altruistic parents may transfer resources to their offspring by providing education, and by leaving bequests. We show that in the presence of wage taxation, a small bequest tax may improve efficiency in an overlapping-generations framework with only intended bequests, by enhancing incentives of parents to invest in their children’s education. This result holds even if the wage tax rate is held constant when introducing bequest taxation. We also calculate an optimal mix of wage and bequest taxes with alternative parameter combinations. In all cases, the optimal wage tax rate is clearly higher than the optimal bequest tax rate, but the latter is generally positive when the required government revenue in the economy is sufficiently high.

Suggested Citation

  • Volker Grossmann & Panu Poutvaara, 2005. "Pareto-Improving Bequest Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1515, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1515
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2015. "Policy preferences for inheritance taxation," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201531, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Bossmann, Martin & Kleiber, Christian & Walde, Klaus, 2007. "Bequests, taxation and the distribution of wealth in a general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1247-1271, August.
    3. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2016. "Should wealth transfers be taxed? Citizens’ view on a fundamental question," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201636, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2017. "Citizens‘ preferences for a tax exemption for caregivers in inheritance taxation – an empirical analysis using German survey data," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201704, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. Chih-Chin Ho & Ching-Yang Lin & Cheng-Tao Tang, 2013. "How Do Income and Bequest Taxes Affect Income Inequality? The Role of Parental Transfers," Working Papers EMS_2013_10, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
    6. Michel Strawczynski, 2014. "The optimal inheritance tax in the presence of investment in education," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 768-795, August.
    7. Bas Jacobs, 2013. "Optimal redistributive tax and education policies in general equilibrium," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(2), pages 312-337, April.
    8. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2016. "Citizens‘ preferences for a tax exemption for caregiving heirs – an empirical analysis," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201621, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    9. Stefano STAFFOLANI & Enzo VALENTINI, 2006. "Bequest Taxation, allocation of talents, education and efficiency," Working Papers 248, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    10. Staffolani, Stefano & Valentini, Enzo, 2007. "Bequest taxation and efficient allocation of talents," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 648-672, July.
    11. Anderberg, Dan, 2013. "Post-compulsory education: Participation and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 134-150.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bequest taxation; bequests; education; Pareto improvement;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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