Bequests and Inheritance Taxation: A Comment

  • Erik Schokkaert
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy book series (SEEP)


The traditional economic approach to policy evaluation is dominated by consequentialism. The consequentialist reasoning goes as follows. First, describe or predict the effects of the policy measure. Secondly, evaluate these effects with a well-specified social objective function. To simplify matters one usually introduces additional assumptions in both steps. In the first step, effects are analysed within an equilibrium model with self-interested agents. The broad institutional structure is kept constant when the value of a policy instrument is changed. In the second step the social objective function is usually specified in a welfarist way, i.e. it is assumed that social welfare is dependent on the welfare levels of the individual households and on these welfare levels only.


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  1. Arrondel, L., Masson, A. and Pestieau, P. (1997): “Bequest and inheritance: Empirical issues and France-U.S. comparison”, this volume.Google Scholar
  2. Erreygers, G. (1997): “Views on inheritance in the history of economic thought”, this volume.Google Scholar
  3. Masson, A. and Pestieau, P. (1997): “Bequests motives and models of inheritance: A survey of the literature”, this volume.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

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  • Erik Schokkaert

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