DP12873 | Socially Optimal Wealth Inequality

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04/17/2018

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Abstract

I discuss two alternative notions of social welfare (utilitarian and self-enforcing) in a dynastic model with heterogeneous and persistent degrees of parental altruism and evaluate the implied levels of consumption inequality. Then, I study a decentralization of planning optima in a competitive equilibrium where the only source of inequality arises from intergenerational wealth transmission and I show that the self-enforcing criterion implies a negative tax rate on the less altruistic individuals’ capital income.