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Inheritance Taxation and Wealth Effects on the Labor Supply of Heirs

Author

Listed:
  • Lukas Mayr

    (European University Institute)

  • Dominik Sachs

    (European University Institute)

  • Fabian Kindermann

    (University of Bonn)

Abstract

Taxing bequests not only generates direct tax revenue, but can have a positive impact on the labor supply of heirs through wealth effects. This leads to an increase in future labor income tax revenue. How large is this effect? We use a state of the art life-cycle model that we calibrate to the German economy to answer this question. Our model successfully matches quasi-experimental evidence regarding the size of wealth effects on labor supply. Using this evidence directly for a back of the envelope calculation fails because (i) heirs anticipate the reduction in bequests through taxation and adjust their labor supply already prior to the actual act of bequeathing, and (ii) when bequest receipt is stochastic, even those who ex post end up not inheriting anything respond ex ante to a change in the expected size of bequests. We find that for each Euro of bequest tax revenue the government mechanically generates, it obtains an additional 9 Cents of labor income tax revenue (in net present value) through a higher labor supply of (non-)heirs.

Suggested Citation

  • Lukas Mayr & Dominik Sachs & Fabian Kindermann, 2017. "Inheritance Taxation and Wealth Effects on the Labor Supply of Heirs," 2017 Meeting Papers 1046, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:1046
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Alexander Gelber & Timothy J. Moore & Alexander Strand, 2017. "The Effect of Disability Insurance Payments on Beneficiaries' Earnings," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 229-261, August.
    5. Winfried Koeniger & Julien Prat, 2018. "Human Capital and Optimal Redistribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 1-26, January.
    6. Doorley, Karina & Pestel, Nico, 2016. "Labour Supply after Inheritances and the Role of Expectations," IZA Discussion Papers 9822, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Picchio, Matteo & Suetens, Sigrid & van Ours, Jan C., 2015. "Labor Supply Effects of Winning a Lottery," CEPR Discussion Papers 10929, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
    9. David Cesarini & Erik Lindqvist & Matthew J. Notowidigdo & Robert Östling, 2017. "The Effect of Wealth on Individual and Household Labor Supply: Evidence from Swedish Lotteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(12), pages 3917-3946, December.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Two papers on wealth taxation
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2017-12-09 04:28:27

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