Two of my favourite applied economists have come out in support of inheritance taxes (to some degree):
In NZ we have David Grimmond of Infometrics:
A means of correcting for dynastic privilege is to introduce a uniform tax on capital. The absence of bequest taxes, in combination with a lack of uniform tax on capital, is a stark aberration in the New Zealand tax system
Then in the UK we have Patrick Nolan of Reform:
In this environment it is unclear why reducing inheritance tax should be a priority. It could be argued that falling property prices mean it would now be relatively cheap, with some estimates indicating that the cost has fallen by almost half to £1.3bn for 2011-12. Yet this is money that could be put to better uses – including reducing other more harmful taxes.
I am a fan of inheritance taxes – as they don’t distort economic behaviour to the same degree as other taxes. If we want to change the tax system this is the sort of tax we should be introducing – with a corresponding cut to the top tax rate.