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Charitable Bequests and Wealth at Death

Author

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  • Atkinson, Tony

    (Nuffield College, Oxford)

  • Backus, Peter G.

    () (University of Barcelona)

  • Micklewright, John

    () (University College London)

Abstract

Charitable bequests are a major source of income for charities but surprisingly little is known about them. The aim of this paper is to propose a multi-stage framework for analysing the bequest decision and to examine the evidence for Great Britain provided by new data on estates. The novelty of the framework is that it distinguishes between the different steps that lead to a charitable bequest. Our new data for Britain have the advantage of covering the whole population, in contrast to much of the US literature based on the small fraction of the population covered by estate tax returns. We focus on the relationship with wealth at death, on the form of the bequest, and on the different causes to which people bequeath.

Suggested Citation

  • Atkinson, Tony & Backus, Peter G. & Micklewright, John, 2012. "Charitable Bequests and Wealth at Death," IZA Discussion Papers 7014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7014
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joulfaian, David, 2000. "Estate Taxes and Charitable Bequests by the Wealthy," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(3), pages 743-764, September.
    2. Boskin, Michael J., 1976. "Estate taxation and charitable bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 27-56.
    3. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2007. "Bequest and Tax Planning: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1801-1854.
    4. Anthony Atkinson & Peter Backus & John Micklewright, 2012. "Charitable bequests and wealth at death," DoQSS Working Papers 12-08, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    5. Harry Watson, 1984. "A Note on the Effects of Taxation on Charitable Giving Over the Life Cycle and Beyond," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 639-647.
    6. Joulfaian, David, 1991. "Charitable Bequests and Estate Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(2), pages 169-180, June.
    7. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, January.
    8. C. Lowell Harriss, 1949. "Federal Estate Taxes and Philanthropic Bequests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57, pages 337-337.
    9. Joulfaian, David, 1991. "Charitable Bequests and Estate Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(2), pages 169-80, June.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Charitable Bequests and Wealth at Death
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2012-12-16 23:58:21

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    Cited by:

    1. Atkinson, Anthony B., 2013. "Wealth and inheritance in Britain from 1896 to the present," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58087, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Atkinson, Tony & Backus, Peter G. & Micklewright, John, 2012. "Charitable Bequests and Wealth at Death," IZA Discussion Papers 7014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:cep:sticas:/178 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    charitable donations; bequests; wealth; death; estate tax; NGOs;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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