Inheritance of Wealth: Justice, Equality, and the Right to Bequeath

ISBN : 9780198803355

Daniel Halliday
256 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
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Daniel Halliday examines the moral grounding of the right to bequeath or transfer wealth. He argues that inheritance is unjust to the extent that it enhances the intergenerational replication of inequality, concentrating opportunities in certain groups. He engages with contemporary concerns about wealth inequality, class hierarchy, and taxation, while also drawing on historical material. He defends a specific proposal about how to tax inherited wealth: roughly, inheritance should be taxed more heavily when it comes from old money. The case for this proposal draws on a variety of factors, including the effect of taxation on incentives, and the complex relationship between the possession of wealth and styles of parenting. Halliday rebuts some sceptical arguments against inheritance taxes, and makes suggestions about how tax schemes should be designed.


1 Introduction; 2 Inheritance in Early Liberal Writings; 3 The Utilitarian Case against Iterated Bequests; 4 Inheritance and Luck; 5 Inequality and Economic Segregation; 6 Inheritance and the Intergenerational Replication of Inequality; 7 Libertarianisms; 8 Taxation

About the author: 

Daniel Halliday teaches political philosophy at Melbourne University. He works mainly on topics relating to justice and political economy. He holds a PhD in philosophy from Stanford University.

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