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Wealth Transfer Taxation: A Survey

  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Pierre Pestieau

The purpose of this paper is to survey the theoretical literature on wealth transfer taxation. The focus is normative: we are looking at the design of an optimal tax structure from the standpoint of both equity and efficiency. The gist of this survey is that the optimal design closely depends on the assumed bequest motives. Alternative bequest motives are thus analyzed either in isolation or combined.

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Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_394.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_394
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  1. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1999. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1888, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2003. "Intergenerational transfer of human capital and optimal education policy," CORE Discussion Papers 2003030, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  4. ColemanII, Wilbur John, 2000. "Welfare and optimum dynamic taxation of consumption and income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-39, April.
  5. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2003. "The Trick Is to Live: Is the Estate Tax Social Security for the Rich?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1318-1341, December.
  6. Tomer Blumkin & Efraim Sadka, 2001. "Estate Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 558, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  8. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Non-linear taxation of bequests, equal sharing rules and the tradeoff between intra- and inter-family inequalities," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1495, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. MICHEL, Ph. & PESTIEAU, P., . "Fiscal policy in a growth model with both altruistic and nonaltruistic agents," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1301, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Louis Kaplow, 2000. "A Framework for Assessing Estate and Gift Taxation," NBER Working Papers 7775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-98, December.
  13. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 1996. "Bequests as a heir "discipline device"," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 405-414.
  14. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1978. "Notes on Estate Taxes, Redistribution, and the Concept of Balanced Growth Path Incidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages S137-50, April.
  15. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  16. Pestieau, P. M., 1974. "Optimal taxation and discount rate for public investment in a growth setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 217-235, August.
  17. Benabou, R., 1999. "Tax and Education Policy in a Heterogeneous Agent Economy: What Levels of Redistribution Maximize Growth and Efficiency?," Working Papers 99-12, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  18. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1997. "Redistribution with unobservable bequests: a case for taxing capital income," CORE Discussion Papers 1997070, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  19. 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, 08.
  20. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-91, April.
  21. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
  22. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 1993. "Education for Attention: A Nash Bargaining Solution to the Bequest-as-Exchange Model," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(Supplemen), pages 85-97.
  23. PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "The role of gift and estate transfers in the United States and in Europe," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1606, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  24. Michel, Philippe & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Fiscal Policy with Agents Differing in Altruism and in Ability," CEPR Discussion Papers 4254, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Abel, Andrew B, 1985. "Precautionary Saving and Accidental Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 777-91, September.
  26. Atkinson, A B & Sandmo, A, 1980. "Welfare Implications of the Taxation of Savings," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(359), pages 529-49, September.
  27. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "A case for differential inheritance taxation," CORE Discussion Papers RP -799, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  28. William G. Gale & Joel B. Slemrod, 2001. "Rethinking the Estate and Gift Tax: Overview," NBER Working Papers 8205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Atkinson, A B, 1971. "Capital Taxes, the Redistribution of Wealth and Individual Savings," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 209-227, April.
  30. Arrondel, L. & Masson, A. & Pestieau, P., . "Bequests and inheritance: empirical issues and France-U.S. comparison," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1274, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  31. 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.
  32. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, 1999. "Direct versus indirect taxation: the design of the tax structure revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999010, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  33. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  34. Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Bernheim, B. Douglas, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Scholarly Articles 3721794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  35. Cremer, H. & Pestieau, P., 1987. "Bequests, filial attention and fertility," CORE Discussion Papers 1987052, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  36. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  37. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1999. "Redistribution," Working Papers 983, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  38. 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.
  39. H. Cremer & P. Pestieau, 1998. "Delaying Inter Vivos Transmissions Under Asymmetric Information," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 322-330, October.
  40. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  41. Batina, Raymond G. & Ihori, Toshihiro, 2000. "Consumption Tax Policy and the Taxation of Capital Income," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297901, March.
  42. George M. Von FURSTENBERG, 1988. "Life Cycle Saving: A General Paradigm or a Caricature of the Petite-Bourgeoisie," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 9, pages 183-198.
  43. Brenner, Gabrielle A., 1985. "Why did inheritance laws change?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 91-106, June.
  44. Poterba, James, 2001. "Estate and gift taxes and incentives for inter vivos giving in the US," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 237-264, January.
  45. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  46. Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-77, June.
  47. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Progressive Capital Income Taxes in the Infinite Horizon Model," NBER Working Papers 9046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. MICHEL, Philippe & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2002. "Wealth transfer taxation with both accidental and planned bequests," CORE Discussion Papers 2002059, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  49. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1972. "The structure of indirect taxation and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 97-119, April.
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