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The Impact of State Taxes on Self-Insurance

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  • Bin Ke
  • Kathy Petroni
  • Douglas A. Shackelford

Abstract

This paper assesses whether insurers' state taxes reduce purchases of property-casualty coverage. Tests are conducted using state aggregates of insurer-level data from publicly-available, annual accounting reports for 1993, 1994, and 1995. A positive relation between self-insurance and state taxes is detected, consistent with consumers opting to self-insure rather than bear the incidence of higher insurer taxes. The primary empirical estimates imply that a 1 percent increase in the state premium tax rate reduces non-automobile insured losses by 0.18 percent to 0.28 percent. These elasticities suggest that for the mean state, a standard deviation increase in the state tax rate (0.5 percent) would lower insured losses by approximately $140 million or 7.5 percent of current coverage. As expected, tax effects vary with the elasticity of demand. When demand is largely inelastic, e.g., automobile liability coverage, taxes do not affect self-insurance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7453.

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Date of creation: Dec 1999
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Publication status: published as Ke, Bin, Kathy R. Petroni and Douglas A. Shackelford. "The Impact Of State Taxes On Self-Insurance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, 2000, v30(1,Aug), 99-122.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7453

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  1. David F. Bradford & Kyle Logue, 1996. "The Effects of Tax-Law Changes on Property-Casualty Insurance Prices," NBER Working Papers 5652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1999. "Sales Taxes and Prices: An Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 157-78, June.
  3. Gordon, Roger H. & Bo Nielsen, Soren, 1997. "Tax evasion in an open economy:: Value-added vs. income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 173-197, November.
  4. Mintz, J. & Tulkens, H., 1984. "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," CORE Discussion Papers 1984027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  7. Joel Slemrod, 2001. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 119-128, March.
  8. Kathy R. Petroni & Douglas A. Shackelford, 1998. "Managing Annual Accounting Reports to Avoid State Taxes: An Analysis of Property-Casualty Insurers," NBER Working Papers 6590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "Interstate commodity tax differentials and the distribution of residents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 435-457, March.
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  11. Klassen, Kenneth J. & Shackelford, Douglas A., 1998. "State and provincial corporate tax planning: income shifting and sales apportionment factor management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 385-406, June.
  12. Frank J. Chaloupka & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & Matthew C. Farrelly & Lloyd D. Johnston & Patrick M. O'Malley, 1999. "Do Higher Cigarette Prices Encourage Youth to Use Marijuana?," NBER Working Papers 6939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  14. J. David Cummins & Mary A. Weiss, 1991. "The structure, conduct, and regulation of the property-liability insurance industry," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 35, pages 117-164.
  15. Petroni, Kathy R. & Shackelford, Douglas A., 1995. "Taxation, regulation, and the organizational structure of property-casualty insurers," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 229-253, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Shackelford, Douglas A. & Shevlin, Terry, 2001. "Empirical tax research in accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 321-387, September.
  2. Adams, Mike & Hardwick, Philip & Zou, Hong, 2008. "Reinsurance and corporate taxation in the United Kingdom life insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 101-115, January.
  3. Maydew, Edward L., 2001. "Empirical tax research in accounting: A discussion," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 389-403, September.

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