Antony Davies (an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University) and Pavel Yakovlev (an assistant professor of economics at Duquesne University) wrote an opinion piece for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The estate tax, R.I.P.: Contrary to popular belief, the estate tax concentrates wealth. They argued that “[t]he estate tax provides a clear case study in the law of unintended consequences and deserves to stay dead.” They boldly assert,
We have studied the impact of this tax and have found that the claim that the estate tax helps prevent the rise of a "moneyed aristocracy" is dead wrong. The tax in fact contributes to wealth concentration by making it harder for the non-wealthy to accumulate wealth.
Their support comes from two observations:
- “It has these effects because the death tax reduces the number of small businesses and increases the market share of large corporations, further concentrating wealth in the hands of the powerful.”
- “In addition to causing as many as 6,000 businesses to be liquidated or absorbed by larger corporations, the estate tax also reduces government revenues. For every dollar in revenue the tax raises, state and local governments lose almost $3 in other taxes, we found.”
For more on a study by these economists, see WSJ: Let the Estate Tax Expire in Three Weeks (TaxProf Blog, 12/11/09). Another study by these economists, Myths and Realities Surrounding the Estate Tax, was published by the anti-estate tax group, American Family Business Foundation.