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Estate Taxation with Altruism Heterogeneity

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  • Emmanuel Farhi
  • Iván Werning

Abstract

We develop a theory of optimal estate taxation in a model where bequest inequality is driven by differences in parental altruism. We show that a wide range of results are possible, from positive taxes to subsidies, depending on redistributive objectives implicit in the cardinal specification of utility and social welfare functions. We propose a normalization that is helpful in classifying these different possibilities. We isolate cases where the optimal policy bans negative bequests and taxes positive bequests, features present in most advanced countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2013. "Estate Taxation with Altruism Heterogeneity," NBER Working Papers 18792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18792
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2010. "Progressive Estate Taxation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 635-673.
    2. Diamond, P. A., 1975. "A many-person Ramsey tax rule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-342, November.
    3. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    4. Christopher Connell & Eric Rasmusen, 2012. "Concavifying the Quasiconcave," Working Papers 2012-10, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Fleurbaey & Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière & Stéphane Zuber, 2017. "Premature Deaths, Accidental Bequests and Fairness," Cahiers de recherche 1704, Chaire de recherche Industrielle Alliance sur les enjeux économiques des changements démographiques.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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