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Overview and details of the sessions of this online conference.

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Session Overview
K04: Wealth Tax
Friday, 20/Aug/2021:
12:30pm - 2:00pm

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12:30pm - 12:52pm

Does a Wealth Tax Improve Equality of Opportunity?

Kristoffer Berg1, Shafik Hebous2

1University of Oslo, Norway; 2International Monetary Fund, USA

Does parental wealth inequality impact next generation \emph{wage} inequality? Does a tax on parental wealth affect the labor income distribution of the next generation? We tackle both questions empirically using detailed intergenerational data from Norway. Results suggest that a net wealth of NOK 1 million increases wages of the children by NOK 14,000---controlling for individual and parents' characteristics such as the level of education. Children of wealthy parents have a higher \emph{labor} income mobility. The estimated hypothetical wage distribution without the wealth tax is more unequal. Moreover, suggestive evidence indicates parental wealth is associated with higher returns to labor.

Berg-Does a Wealth Tax Improve Equality of Opportunity-292.pdf

12:52pm - 1:15pm

Joint Taxation of Income and Wealth

Mehmet Ayaz, Dominik Sachs

LMU Munich

Empirically, income and wealth are positively correlated. A ‘tagging’ logic implies that taxing wealth more strongly for individuals with high income would be desirable. However, wealth and income are both endogenous variables and the simple tagging logic needs to be extended to account for this. If e.g., wealth taxes are increased only for individuals that earn more than $100,000, this creates two distortions: not only the wealth accumulation margin gets distorted, but also the labor earnings margin for those that earn around $100,000. We derive formulas for the excess burden and the welfare effects of such joints reforms and calibrate them to the U.S. Our first preliminary findings indicate that taxing wealth more progressively for individuals with high income is desirable despite the ‘double distortion’ it implies.

Ayaz-Joint Taxation of Income and Wealth-515.pdf

1:15pm - 1:37pm

Public support for wealth tax policies in Covid-19 times: Evidence from Luxembourg

Javier Olivera1, Philippe Van Kerm2

1Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Luxembourg; 2University of Luxembourg

In the context of the current debate over how to finance the cost of the Covid-19 pandemic, we study the public support for the introduction of wealth taxes. We rely on data drawn from the Socio-Economic Impact Survey of Luxembourg taken in July 2020. The survey asks for the agreement of the individual over a one-time net wealth tax and an inheritance tax. For comparative reasons, the survey also inquires about the public support for a temporal solidarity income tax and a temporal increase in the VAT. All tax questions include different attributes randomly assigned to the individual. We find a clear divide about a favourable support for new wealth and inheritance taxes on the one hand and a low support for increases in VAT and earnings taxes on the other hand. Our results indicate that a one-time wealth tax could raise substantial revenues and still show public support.

Olivera-Public support for wealth tax policies in Covid-19 times-510.pdf

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