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Bequests, taxation and the distribution of wealth in a general equilibrium model

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  • Sexauer, Martin
  • Kleiber, Christian
  • Wälde, Klaus

Abstract

This paper examines the role of bequests and of taxation on bequests for the distribution of wealth. We investigate a model with overlapping generations and heterogenous households where parents derive utility directly from their bequests. Using the coefficient of variation as measure of equality, bequests per se diminish the inequality of wealth since they raise private savings and hence average wealth holdings more than the dispersion of wealth. From a policy perspective, taxing bequests and redistributing government revenue lump-sum among the young generation further decreases wealth inequality. These results also hold when measuring inequality by the Gini coefficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Sexauer, Martin & Kleiber, Christian & Wälde, Klaus, 2005. "Bequests, taxation and the distribution of wealth in a general equilibrium model," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 61, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:61
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhu, Dongming & Galbraith, John W., 2010. "A generalized asymmetric Student-t distribution with application to financial econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, pages 297-305.
    2. Graziella Bertocchi, 2011. "The Vanishing Bequest Tax: The Comparative Evolution Of Bequest Taxation In Historical Perspective," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 107-131, March.
    3. Jordi Caballé & Ana I. Moro Egido, 2008. "The Effect of Aspirations, Habits, and Social Security on the Distribution of Wealth," ThE Papers 08/02, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    4. Wan, Jing & Zhu, Shenghao, 2012. "Intergenerational links, taxation, and wealth distribution," MPRA Paper 39511, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Nur, Jamil, 2015. "Housing, Capital Taxation and Bequests in a Simple OLG Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 10774, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Volker Grossmann & Panu Poutvaara, 2009. "Pareto-improving bequest taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, pages 647-669.
    7. Grossmann, Volker & Strulik, Holger, 2010. "Should continued family firms face lower taxes than other estates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 87-101.
    8. Yoko Niimi & Charles Yuji Horioka, 2016. "The Impact of Intergenerational Transfers on Household Wealth Inequality in Japan and the United States," NBER Working Papers 22687, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Johann K. Brunner & Susanne Pech, 2008. "Optimum taxation of inheritances," Economics working papers 2008-06, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    10. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2015. "Policy preferences for inheritance taxation," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201531, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    11. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2017. "Citizens‘ preferences for a tax exemption for caregivers in inheritance taxation – an empirical analysis using German survey data," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201704, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    12. Helmut Hofer & Gerlinde Titelbach & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Alexander Ahammer, 2017. "Wage Discrimination Against Immigrants in Austria?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 31(2), pages 105-126, June.
    13. Brunner Johann K., 2014. "Die Erbschaftsteuer – Bestandteil eines optimalen Steuersystems?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, pages 199-218.
    14. Jordi Caballé, 2016. "Intergenerational mobility: measurement and the role of borrowing constraints and inherited tastes," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, pages 393-420.
    15. Chatzouz, Moustafa, 2014. "Government Debt and Wealth Inequality: Theory and Insights from Altruism," MPRA Paper 77007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Noritaka Maebayashi & Kunihiko Konishi, 2016. "Sustainability of the public debt and wealth inequality in a general equilibrium model," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-33, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    17. Jordi Caballé & Ana I. Moro-Egido, 2015. "On the Accumulation of Wealth under Aspirations," Working Papers 826, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    18. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2012. "Envy and Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, pages 949-973.
    19. Ivo Bischoff & Nataliya Kusa, 2016. "Citizens‘ preferences for a tax exemption for caregiving heirs – an empirical analysis," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201621, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bequest; taxation; wealth inequality; OLG model; analytical solution;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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