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Attitudes towards inheritance taxation – results from a survey experiment

Christiane Gross (), Kerstin Lorek () and Friedemann Richter ()
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Christiane Gross: University of Hanover
Kerstin Lorek: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Friedemann Richter: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

The Journal of Economic Inequality, 2017, vol. 15, issue 1, No 5, 93-112

Abstract: Abstract Inheritance taxation divides public opinion and is among the most unpopular taxes in many countries, although only a minority of people have to pay it. Using a survey experiment with vignettes on a sample of German citizens (N = 479), we examine attitudes towards inheritance taxation. Our results reveal several relevant dimensions for a proposed fair inheritance tax rate (PITR): The PITR decreases with a close relationship between testator and heir and when the asset is a family-occupied house or family enterprise compared with a “lump sum”. It increases with the value of bequest and income of the heir representing equity considerations. Respondents advocate higher tax rates to reduce fiscal budget deficits. Respondents with a strong family orientation propose a low inheritance tax rate.

Keywords: Economic inequality; Estate tax; Factorial survey; Fair taxation; Inheritance tax; Intergenerational mobility; Preferences for redistribution; Social mobility; Survey experiments; Tax attitudes; Vignette (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s10888-016-9344-4

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