Office: 26.1.22 (1st floor)


University of Copenhagen

Department of Economics

Øster Farimagsgade 5, bygn. 26

DK-1353 København K



Phone: +45 35 32 32 58

Email: shb "at"



Department web page


Wealth Inequality: The Role of Inheritance and Taxation of Wealth


Postdoctoral scholarship funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research

DFF - 1329-00046



This project aims to shed light on two questions: (i) how important is inheritance in shaping the distribution of wealth or lifetime resources of future generations? and (ii) how responsive are taxpayers to wealth taxation intended to redistribute wealth? Economic theory points to distributional effects and policy driven behavioral responses as key in evaluating the need for and effectiveness of redistributional policy. In order to analyze the posed questions, I will exploit the unique Danish administrative wealth records and the possibility to link all family members. In the first project I will use wealth data of parents and their children to measure and fully characterize the inheritance flows when parents die and the effect on the distribution of children’s wealth. In the second project, using a new econometric method, I intend to exploit the tendency of taxpayers to report taxable wealth just below the threshold at which wealth taxation sets in so as to elicit taxpayers’ responsiveness to wealth taxation.




o "Born with a silver spoon? Danish evidence on wealth inequality in childhood"

(with Wojciech Kopczuk and Claus Thustrup Kreiner). August 2016. (pdf, Vox column). Accepted for publication in The Economic Journal.

(Previously entitled "Born with a silver spoon: Danish evidence on intergenerational wealth formation from cradle to adulthood")


o The Role of Bequests in Shaping Wealth Inequality: Evidence from Danish Wealth Records

(with Wojciech Kopczuk and Claus Thustrup Kreiner). American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 106(5): 656-61, 2016. (AER, NBER version, manuscript, Vox column)




o "Intergenerational wealth formation over the life-cycle: Evidence from Danish wealth records 1984-213"

(with Wojciech Kopczuk and Claus Thustrup Kreiner).




o Danish evidence on wealth inequality in childhood in VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal, November 4 2016.

o Bequests and wealth inequality: Evidence from Denmark in VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal, March 11 2016.




Claus Thustrup Kreiner, University of Copenhagen (link)

Wojciech Kopczuk, Columbia University (link)