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Charitable bequests and wealth at death

  • Anthony Atkinson

    ()

    (Nuffield College, Oxford and London School of Economics.)

  • Peter Backus

    ()

    (Universitat de Barcelona and l'Institut d'Economica de Barcelona)

  • John Micklewright

    ()

    (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 12-08.

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Date of creation: 06 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1208
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Quantitative Social Science. UCL IOE, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL
Phone: (44) (0)20 7612 6654. Eliminate (44) and add (0) if calling from inside the UK. Add (44) and eliminate (0) if calling from abroad.
Fax: (44) (0)20 7612 6686
Web page: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/research/departments/qss/35445.html

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  1. 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).
  2. Joulfaian, David, 2000. "Estate Taxes and Charitable Bequests by the Wealthy," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 3), pages 743-64, September.
  3. C. Lowell Harriss, 1949. "Federal Estate Taxes and Philanthropic Bequests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57, pages 337.
  4. Watson, Harry, 1984. "A Note on the Effects of Taxation on Charitable Giving over the Life Cycle and Beyond," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 639-47, August.
  5. Boskin, Michael J., 1976. "Estate taxation and charitable bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 27-56.
  6. Joulfaian, David, 1991. "Charitable Bequests and Estate Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(2), pages 169-80, June.
  7. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, June.
  8. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2006. "Bequest and Tax Planning: Evidence From Estate Tax Returns," NBER Working Papers 12701, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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