Do the Rich Flee from High State Taxes? Evidence from Federal Estate Tax Returns
This paper examines how changes in state tax policy affect the number of federal estate tax returns filed in each state, utilizing data on federal estate tax return filings by state and wealth class for 18 years between 1965 and 1998. Controlling for state- and wealthclass specific fixed effects, we find that high state inheritance and estate taxes and sales taxes have statistically significant, but modest, negative impacts on the number of federal estate tax returns filed in a state. High personal income tax and property tax burdens are also found to have negative effects, but these results are somewhat sensitive to alternative specifications. This evidence is consistent with the notion that wealthy elderly people change their real (or reported) state of residence to avoid high state taxes, although it could partly reflect other modes of tax avoidance as well. We discuss the implications for the debate over whether individual states should decouple their estate taxes from federal law, which would retain the state tax even as the federal credit for such taxes is eliminated. Our results suggest that migration and other observationally equivalent avoidance activities in response to such a tax would cause revenue losses and deadweight losses, but that these would not be large relative to the revenue raised by the tax.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Williamstown, MA 01267|
Phone: 413 597 2476
Fax: 413 597 4045
Web page: http://econ.williams.edu
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kiefer, Donald W. & Carroll, Robert & Holtzblatt, Janet & Lerman, Allen, 2002. "The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001: Overview and Assessment of Effects on Taxpayers," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(N. 1), pages 89-117, March.
- Joulfaian, David & McGarry, Kathleen, 2004. "Estate and Gift Tax Incentives and Inter Vivos Giving," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 429-44, June.
- Page, Benjamin R., 2003. "Bequest taxes, inter vivos gifts, and the bequest motive," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1219-1229, May.
- 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.
- Kaestner, Robert & Kaushal, Neeraj & Van Ryzin, Gregg, 2003.
"Migration consequences of welfare reform,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 357-376, May.
- Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 773-88, December.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002.
"Political economics and public finance,"
Handbook of Public Economics,
in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political Economics and Public Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2235, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Public Finance," Working Papers 149, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1999. "Political Economics and Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 7097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward M. Gramlich & Deborah S. Laren, 1984. "Migration and Income Redistribution Responsibilities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 489-511.
- Richard Baldwin; Paul Krugman, 2001.
"Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization,"
IHEID Working Papers
01-2001, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
- Richard E. Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 2002. "Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 9290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 2000. "Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Conway, Karen Smith & Houtenville, Andrew J., 2001. "Elderly Migration and State Fiscal Policy: Evidence from the 1990 Census Migration Flows," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 103-24, March.
- Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
- Moretti, Enrico, 2004.
"Human capital externalities in cities,"
Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,
in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 51, pages 2243-2291
- Paul S. Davies & Michael J. Greenwood & Haizheng Li, 2001. "A Conditional Logit Approach to U.S. State-to-State Migration," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 337-360.
- Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 1999.
"An empirical analysis of the welfare magnet debate using the NLSY,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 391-409.
- P. B. Levine & D. J. Zimmerman, . "An empirical analysis of the welfare magnet debate using the NLSY," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1098-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 1995. "An Empirical Analysis of the Welfare Magnet Debate Using the NLSY," NBER Working Papers 5264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blumkin, Tomer & Sadka, Efraim, 2004. "Estate taxation with intended and accidental bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 1-21, January.
- Thomas J. Nechyba & Robert P. Strauss, 1997.
"Community Choice and Local Public Services: A Discrete Choice Approach,"
NBER Working Papers
5966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nechyba, Thomas J. & Strauss, Robert P., 1998. "Community choice and local public services: A discrete choice approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-73, January.
- Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
- Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002.
"How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?,"
NBER Working Papers
8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
- Blank, Rebecca M., 1988. "The effect of welfare and wage levels on the location decisions of female-headed households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 186-211, September.
- Karen Smith Conway & Jonathan C. Rork, 2004. "Diagnosis Murder: The Death of State Death Taxes," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 537-559, October.
- Pauly, Mark V., 1973. "Income redistribution as a local public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 35-58, February.
- Mirrlees, J. A., 1982. "Migration and optimal income taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 319-341, August.
- Feldstein, Martin & Wrobel, Marian Vaillant, 1998.
"Can state taxes redistribute income?,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 369-396, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2004-12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephen Sheppard)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.