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Transfer Motives and Tax Policy

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  • Louis Kaplow

Abstract

This paper considers the optimal tax treatment of voluntary transfers to individuals in a" framework that integrates redistributive income taxation and estate and gift taxation. Under this" formulation, redistributive considerations become secondary. The optimal tax treatment of" transfers depends upon the differences between expenditures on transfers and ordinary personal" consumption. It turns out that some types of transfers confer a sort of positive externality on" donees, some create tax revenue externalities, and some affect donors' and donees' marginal" utilities of income in a manner relevant to the optimal taxation problem. Different types of" transfers have qualitatively different effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis Kaplow, 1999. "Transfer Motives and Tax Policy," NBER Working Papers 6340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6340
    Note: PE
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6340.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 372-391, April.
    2. Kaplow, Louis, 1995. "A note on subsidizing gifts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 469-477, November.
    3. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 334-347, Summer.
    4. 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 464-477, June.
    5. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 151-182, July.
    6. A. B. Atkinson, 1971. "Capital Taxes, the Redistribution of Wealth and Individual Savings," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 209-227.
    7. Stark, Oded & Falk, Ita, 1998. "Transfers, Empathy Formation, and Reverse Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 271-276, May.
    8. Buchanan, James M, 1983. "Rent Seeking, Noncompensated Transfers, and Laws of Succession," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 71-85, April.
    9. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Poterba, 1997. "The Estate Tax and After-Tax Investment Returns," NBER Working Papers 6337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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