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Alleged Tax Competition: The Mysterious Death of InheritanceTaxes in Switzerland

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  • Marius Brülhart
  • Raphaël Parchet

Abstract

Interjurisdictional competition over mobile tax bases is an easily understood mechanism, but actual tax-base elasticities are difficult to estimate. Political pressure for reducing tax rates could therefore be based on erroneous estimates of the mobility of tax bases. We show that tax competition provided the overwhelmingly dominant argument in the policy debates leading to a succession of reforms of bequest taxation by Swiss cantons. Yet, we find only very weak statistical evidence of a relationship between tax burdens on bequests and the concerned tax base of wealthy elderly individuals. Moreover, inheritance tax revenues are found to increase in inheritance tax rates even in the long run, and actual tax rates lie well below the revenue-maximising levels throughout. The alleged pressures of tax competition did not seem in reality to exist.

Suggested Citation

  • Marius Brülhart & Raphaël Parchet, 2010. "Alleged Tax Competition: The Mysterious Death of InheritanceTaxes in Switzerland," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 10.04, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:10.04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. La riqueza debería tributar más
      by Santiago Lago Peñas in Res Publica on 2012-08-21 21:08:03

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    Cited by:

    1. Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2012. "Tax and the city: A theory of local tax competition and evidence for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-005, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    2. repec:ces:ifodic:v:16:y:2018:i:2:p:50000000002756 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Geys, Benny & Osterloh, Steffen, 2011. "Politicians' opinions on rivals in the competition for firms: An empirical analysis of reference points near a border," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-020, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Benny Geys & Steffen Osterloh, 2013. "Borders As Boundaries To Fiscal Policy Interactions? An Empirical Analysis Of Politicians’ Opinions On Rivals In The Competition For Firms," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 583-606, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax competition; inheritance taxation; fiscal federalism;

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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