Charitable Bequests and Wealth at Death

39 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2012

See all articles by Anthony B. Atkinson

Anthony B. Atkinson

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Peter Backus

University of Warwick; University of Southampton

John Micklewright

Institute of Education; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Charitable bequests are a major source of income for charities but surprisingly little is known about them. The aim of this paper is to propose a multi-stage framework for analysing the bequest decision and to examine the evidence for Great Britain provided by new data on estates. The novelty of the framework is that it distinguishes between the different steps that lead to a charitable bequest. Our new data for Britain have the advantage of covering the whole population, in contrast to much of the US literature based on the small fraction of the population covered by estate tax returns. We focus on the relationship with wealth at death, on the form of the bequest, and on the different causes to which people bequeath.

Keywords: charitable donations, bequests, wealth, death, estate tax, NGOs

JEL Classification: D12, D31, D64, L31

Suggested Citation

Atkinson, Anthony B. and Backus, Peter and Micklewright, John, Charitable Bequests and Wealth at Death. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2183547

Anthony B. Atkinson (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Peter Backus

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

University of Southampton

University Rd.
Southampton SO17 1BJ, Hampshire SO17 1LP
United Kingdom

John Micklewright

Institute of Education ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/staff/QSSE/QSSE_30.html

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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