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Estate taxation with warm-glow altruism

Author

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  • Carlos Garriga
  • Fernando Sánchez-Losada

Abstract

This article examines the properties of the optimal fiscal policy in an economy with warm-glow altruism (utility interdependence) and heterogeneous individuals. We propose a new efficiency concept, D-efficiency, that considers an implicit constraint in the act of giving: donors cannot bequeath to donees more than their existing resources. Considering this constraint, we show that the market equilibrium is not socially efficient. The efficient level of bequest transfers can be implemented by the market with estate and labor-income subsidies and a capital-income tax. In the absence of lump-sum taxation, the government faces a trade-off between minimizing distortions and eliminating external effects. The implied tax policy differs from Pigovian taxation since the government's ability to correct the external effects is limited. Finally, we show that the efficiency-equity trade-off does not affect the qualitative features of the optimal distortionary fiscal policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Garriga & Fernando Sánchez-Losada, 2009. "Estate taxation with warm-glow altruism," Working Papers 2009-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2009-004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
    2. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2006. "Wealth transfer taxation: a survey of the theoretical literature," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    3. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
    4. William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1994. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 145-160, Fall.
    5. Philippe Michel & Pierre Pestieau, 2004. "Fiscal Policy in an Overlapping Generations Model with Bequest-as-Consumption," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(3), pages 397-407, August.
    6. Carlos Garriga, 2019. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Public Finance Review, , vol. 47(1), pages 3-31, January.
    7. MICHEL, Philippe & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1998. "Fiscal policy when individuals differ regarding to altruism and labor supply," CORE Discussion Papers 1998040, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    8. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    9. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 743-768.
    10. Laitner, John, 1993. "Intergenerational and interhousehold economic links," Handbook of Population and Family Economics,in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 189-238 Elsevier.
    11. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "The Contribution of Intergenerational Transfers to Total Wealth: A Reply," NBER Working Papers 1827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Davies, James B. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 2000. "The distribution of wealth," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 605-675 Elsevier.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. About estate subsidies and capital income taxation
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-09-10 19:41:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Garriga, Carlos & Sánchez-Losada, Fernando, 2009. "Indirect taxation and the welfare effects of altruism on the optimal fiscal policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1365-1374, November.
    2. Bullard, James & Garriga, Carlos & Waller, Christopher J., 2012. "Demographics, redistribution, and optimal inflation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 419-440.
    3. repec:fip:fedlps:y:2012:i:may30 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism ; Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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