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The Bequest Tax as Long-Term Care Insurance

  • Johann K. Brunner

I study a model of a representative individual who has a motive for leaving bequests and is at risk of needing long-term care in old age. I assume - as is typical for OECD countries - that the individual is not fully insured against this risk. Moreover, at realization the individual is unable to adapt labor supply or consumption; then expenditures for long-term care result in a one-to-one reduction of the estate. In this situation a tax on bequests provides insurance and its introduction causes a smaller deadweight loss than an income or consumption tax. I also characterize the optimal tax and transfer system in this model.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3901.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3901
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  1. Grossmann, Volker & Strulik, Holger, 2010. "Should continued family firms face lower taxes than other estates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 87-101, February.
  2. Emmanuel Farhi & Ivan Werning, 2006. "Progressive Estate Taxation," NBER Working Papers 12600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brunner Johann K. & Pech Susanne, 2012. "Optimal Taxation of Wealth Transfers When Bequests are Motivated by Joy of Giving," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, March.
  4. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, 2001. "Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable," CORE Discussion Papers 2001020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Arrondel, L. & Masson, A. & Pestieau, P., 1996. "Bequest and inheritance: empirical issues and France-U.S. comparison," DELTA Working Papers 96-19, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2001. "Direct versus Indirect Taxation: The Design of the Tax Structure Revisted," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 781-99, August.
  7. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2010. "Economics of estate taxation: a brief review of theory and evidence," NBER Working Papers 15741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  9. W. J. Corlett & D. C. Hague, 1953. "Complementarity and the Excess Burden of Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 21-30.
  10. Deaton, Angus, 1981. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1245-60, September.
  11. Pauly, Mark V, 1990. "The Rational Nonpurchase of Long-term-Care Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 153-68, February.
  12. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1997. "Redistribution with unobservable bequests: a case for taxing capital income," CORE Discussion Papers 1997070, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Johann K. Brunner & Susanne Pech, 2010. "Optimum taxation of bequests in a model with initial wealth," NRN working papers 2010-02, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
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