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Estate taxation, entrepreneurship, and wealth

  • Marco Cagetti
  • Mariacristina De Nardi

We study the effects of abolishing estate taxation in a quantitative and realistic framework that includes the key features that policy makers are worried about: business investment, borrowing constraints, estate transmission, and wealth inequality. We use our model to estimate effective estate taxation. We consider various tax instruments to reestablish fiscal balance when abolishing estate taxation. We find that abolishing estate taxation would not generate large increases in inequality, and would, in some cases, generate increases in aggregate output and capital accumulation. If, however, the resulting revenue shortfall were financed through increased income or consumption taxation, the immensely rich, and the old among those in particular, would experience a welfare gain, at the cost of welfare losses for the vast majority of the population.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-07-08.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-07-08
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  1. William M. Gentry & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2000. "Entrepreneurship and Household Saving," NBER Working Papers 7894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1992. "Debt constrained asset markets," Working Papers 445, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  4. Ana Castaneda & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Accounting for the U.S. Earnings and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 818-857, August.
  5. Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2005. "Entrepreneurship, frictions, and wealth," Working Paper Series WP-05-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Aaron, Henry J. & Munnell, Alicia H., 1992. "Reassessing the Role for Wealth Transfer Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(2), pages 119-43, June.
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  13. Juan Carlos Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 2002. "On the Optimal Progressivity of the Income Tax Code," Centro de Alti­simos Estudios Ri­os Pe©rez(CAERP) 4, Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Perez (CAERP).
  14. Mark Gertler, 1997. "Government Debt and Social Security in a Life-Cycle Economy," NBER Working Papers 6000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. Orazio Attanasio & Erich Battistin & Hidehiko Ichimura, 2004. "What Really Happened to Consumption Inequality in the US?," NBER Working Papers 10338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  24. Albuquerque, R. & Hopenhayn, H.A., 1997. "Optimal Dynamic Lending Contracts with Imperfect Enforceability," RCER Working Papers 439, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  25. Gouveia, Miguel & Strauss, Robert P., 1994. "Effective Federal Individual Tax Functions: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(2), pages 317-39, June.
  26. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  27. Sagiri Kitao, 2008. "Entrepreneurship, taxation and capital investment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 44-69, January.
  28. 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.
  29. Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1997. "Understanding the U.S. distribution of wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 22-36.
  30. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
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