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Real Estate Prices and the Importance of Bequest Taxation

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  • Giorgio Bellettini
  • Filippo Taddei

Abstract

Taxation of bequests and donations is an important determinant of real estate prices. We show that, ceteris paribus, a decrease in taxes on inter vivos donations and bequests brings about an increase in real estate prices. We provide a general equilibrium rationalization in the context of OLG economies featuring intergenerational altruism. This has relevant policy implications. We test the predictions of our theory employing a unique policy shock: the abolition of bequest and donation taxation that took place in Italy in 2001. Considering this policy shift provides the first evidence that a drastic reduction in bequest and donation taxation significantly increased real estate prices. Our estimates suggest that the 2001 abolition of taxation on bequests and donations alone led to an appreciation of residential real estate in excess of 10%.

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio Bellettini & Filippo Taddei, 2009. "Real Estate Prices and the Importance of Bequest Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2577, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2577
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Lemke, Robert J. & Scholz, John Karl, 2004. "Do estate and gift taxes affect the timing of private transfers?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2617-2634, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    real estate prices; donations; bequest taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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