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The Economics Of Wealth Transfer Tax

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Executive Summary

This paper discusses the merits of wealth transfer taxation on both efficiency and equity grounds. It first deals with the popular debate that is dominated by American economists. This debate concerns the US estate tax, which is one, among many, types of wealth transfer tax. After addressing the main issues prevailing in this debate and discussing the lack of popular support for such tax, the paper adopts a more theoretical approach to explore the pluses and the minuses of a wealth transfer tax. The main point is that the desirability of a wealth transfer tax depends on the motives of wealth accumulation and transmission.

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