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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. Holger Strulik & Volker Grossmann, 2008. "Should Continued Family Firms Face Lower Taxes than other Estates?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2235, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. 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.
  3. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2010. "Progressive Estate Taxation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 635-673, May.
  4. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1999. "Capital Income Taxation when Inherited wealth is not Observable," IDEI Working Papers 109, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2001.
  5. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, 1999. "Direct versus indirect taxation: the design of the tax structure revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999010, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Angus Deaton, 1979. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Working Papers 506, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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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