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Handbook of Public Economics, Vol. 5 by Emmanuel Saez, Martin Feldstein, Raj Chetty, Alan J. Auerbach

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Chapter 6

Taxation of Intergenerational Transfers and Wealth

Wojciech Kopczuk,    Department of Economics and School of International and Public Affairs and National Bureau of Economic Research, Columbia University

Abstract

In this chapter, I review empirical and theoretical literature on taxation of intergenerational transfers (estates, bequests, inheritances, inter vivos gifts) and wealth. The main message may be summarized as follows. Empirical evidence on bequest motivations and responses to estate taxation is spotty and much remains be done, but what we know points in the direction of (1) mixed motives, (2) heterogeneity of preferences, and (3) importance of retaining control over wealth. These patterns are important for normative analysis ...

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