This Website uses cookies. By using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies and to the terms and conditions listed in our data protection policy. Read more


Perceptions of Inherited Wealth and the Support for Inheritance Taxation

Journal Article
Bastani, Spencer and Daniel Waldenström (2021). “Perceptions of Inherited Wealth and the Support for Inheritance Taxation”. Economica 88(350), 532–569.

Spencer Bastani, Daniel Waldenström

We study how attitudes to inheritance taxation are influenced by information about the role of inherited wealth in society. Using a randomized experiment in a register‐linked Swedish survey, we find that informing individuals about the large aggregate importance of inherited wealth and its link to inequality of opportunity significantly increases the support for inheritance taxation. Changes in the perceived economic importance of inherited wealth and altered views on whether luck matters most for economic success appear to be driving factors behind the treatment effect. Our findings suggest that the low salience of inherited wealth could be one explanation behind the relatively marginalized role of inheritance taxation in developed economies.

Spencer Bastani

+46 (0)18 471 7077
+46 (0)73 150 7751

Daniel Waldenström

+46 (0)8 665 4584
+46 70 491 6082