IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/psewpa/halshs-00834189.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Taxing more (large) family bequests: why, when, where?

Author

Listed:
  • Luc Arrondel

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • André Masson

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

There is a capital taxation puzzle in most developed countries. Since the 1960s, revenues from wealth transfer taxation have been especially low and decreasing as a percentage of GDP, even to the extent of disappearing in quite a number of cases; by contrast, lifetime wealth or capital taxation generates much higher revenues and shows no decreasing trend. The full tax puzzle is certainly not easy to explain. Many usual explanations of the aversion to wealth transfer taxation also imply limited lifetime capital taxation: they cannot justify the very strong collective preference for lifetime capital taxation observed in most countries. On the other hand, capital market imperfections may explain higher levels of lifetime capital taxation, but not the diverging trends of the two components of capital taxation. We think that a key explanatory factor of the tax puzzle in general and of the growing unpopularity of wealth transfer taxation in particular stems from the rising role of family values and links: the family appears to be the only safe investment nowadays in the face of risky globalized markets and the feared retrenchment of the welfare state. Any realistic reform must take this social and political constraint into account. Most reformist economists think that lifetime wealth or capital taxation could act as quite an efficient substitute for too unpopular taxes on wealth transfers. We offer an alternative solution which recommends heavier and more progressive taxation on family inheritances (only) while allowing for various legal loopholes to avoid the tax. It could hence prompt parents driven by family altruism to increase (early) inter vivos transfers to their progeny and people driven by social altruism to make more charitable gifts and bequests, and would bring in additional and welcome revenues.

Suggested Citation

  • Luc Arrondel & André Masson, 2013. "Taxing more (large) family bequests: why, when, where?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00834189, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00834189 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00834189
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00834189/document
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Luc Behaghel & Bruno Cr?pon & Marc Gurgand, 2014. "Private and Public Provision of Counseling to Job Seekers: Evidence from a Large Controlled Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 142-174, October.
    2. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Paola Profeta & Simona Scabrosetti & Stanley Winer, 2014. "Wealth transfer taxation: an empirical investigation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, pages 720-767.
    2. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2017. "Citizens‘ preferences for a tax exemption for caregivers in inheritance taxation – an empirical analysis using German survey data," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201704, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal taxation; Wealth; Inheritance;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00834189. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.