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Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths?

Author

Listed:
  • Gans Joshua S

    () (Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne)

  • Leigh Andrew

    () (Australian National University)

Abstract

In 1979, Australia abolished federal inheritance taxes. Using daily deaths data, we show that approximately 50 deaths were shifted from the week before the abolition to the week after. This amounts to over half of those who would have been eligible to pay the tax. Although we cannot rule out the possibility that our results are driven by misreporting, our results imply that over the very short run, the death rate may be highly elastic with respect to the inheritance tax rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Gans Joshua S & Leigh Andrew, 2006. "Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-9, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.6:y:2006:i:1:n:23
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew, 2009. "Born on the first of July: An (un)natural experiment in birth timing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 246-263, February.
    2. Joshua Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "The millennium bub," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(14), pages 1467-1470.
    3. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "Dying to Save Taxes: Evidence from Estate-Tax Returns on the Death Elasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 256-265, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "The millennium bub," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(14), pages 1467-1470.
    2. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2012. "Taxation of Intergenerational Transfers and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 18584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michael Neugart & Henry Ohlsson, 2013. "Economic incentives and the timing of births: evidence from the German parental benefit reform of 2007," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 87-108, January.
    4. Eliason, M. & Ohlsson, H., 2013. "Timing of death and the repeal of the Swedish inheritance tax," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 113-123.
    5. repec:eee:aumajo:v:18:y:2010:i:1:p:15-22 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Schulkind, Lisa & Shapiro, Teny Maghakian, 2014. "What a difference a day makes: Quantifying the effects of birth timing manipulation on infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 139-158.
    7. Eliason, Marcus & Ohlsson, Henry, 2008. "Living to save taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 340-343, September.
    8. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew, 2009. "Born on the first of July: An (un)natural experiment in birth timing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 246-263, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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