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Capital taxation, long-run growth, and bequests

By Lars Kunze

Abstract

It has been shown that higher capital taxes can have a growth-enhancing effect when combined with a revenue-compensating cut in wage taxes or with an expansion in productivity-increasing public services. The present paper demonstrates that these results critically hinge on the existence of a bequest motive. It is shown that a wage-tax cut is no longer growth-enhancing when bequests are operative. By way of contrast, increasing productive public services may well boost growth. The theoretical findings are illustrated by numerical simulations based on US data.Capital income taxation Public spending Overlapping generations Growth Family altruism

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