Taxing wealth:

Vol. 41 No. 1 (2021)

Jan-Mar / 2021
Published February 9, 2021

How to Cite

Morgan, Marc, and Pedro Carvalho Junior. 2021. “Taxing wealth:: General Principles, International Perspectives and Lessons for Brazil”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 41 (1), 44-64.

Taxing wealth:

general principles, international perspectives and lessons for Brazil

Marc Morgan
Senior Researcher and Western Europe Coordinator of World Inequality Lab, Paris School of Economics, Paris, France. Doctor in Economics, Paris School of Economics.
Pedro Carvalho Junior
Senior Researcher at Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada – IPEA, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brasil. PhD in Tax Policy, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 41 No. 1 (2021), Jan-Mar / 2021, Pages 44-64


The international debate on wealth taxation has been subject to renewed interest amid new proposals coming out of the US electoral cycle and the salience of wealth inequality. This article reviews the case for taxing wealth and its transfer across generations (wealth and inheritance taxes), analyzing their design from an international comparative perspective, and extracting lessons for Brazil. The long-debated “Tax on Large Fortunes” has never been implemented and the state-level “Tax on Inheritances” has been watered down over time. We propose a framework for the progressive implementation and reform of both taxes in the country. We argue, given the historical record and current research, that they are technically and administratively feasible propositions, notwithstanding important political economy considerations.

JEL Classification: H24; H29

Keywords: Wealth tax, inheritance tax, inequality