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Timing of death and the repeal of the Swedish inheritance tax

  • Eliason, M.
  • Ohlsson, H.

In response to the repeal of the Swedish inheritance tax people postponed death to avoid taxes. This is an example of the far-reaching behavioral effects of economic incentives and of unintended consequences of policy changes. Using individual data, including information on taxable estates, we find that deceased with, compared to those without, tax incentives to postpone death were 10 percentage points more likely to die the day after rather than the day before the repeal. An extended analysis suggests that the timing of deaths was affected not only during these two days but during a longer surrounding period.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 113-123

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:45:y:2013:i:c:p:113-123
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Born on the First of July: An (Un)natural Experiment in Birth Timing," CEPR Discussion Papers 529, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2006. "The Millennium Bub," CEPR Discussion Papers 531, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Eliason, Marcus & Ohlsson, Henry, 2008. "Living to save taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 340-343, September.
  4. Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths?," CEPR Discussion Papers 530, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Miccinesi, Guido & Fischer, Susanne & Paci, Eugenio & Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Bregje D & Cartwright, Colleen & van der Heide, Agnes & Nilstun, Tore & Norup, Michael & Mortier, Freddy, 2005. "Physicians' attitudes towards end-of-life decisions: a comparison between seven countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(9), pages 1961-1974, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Tamm, Marcus, 2009. "The Impact of a Large Parental Leave Benefit Reform on the Timing of Birth around the Day of Implementation," Ruhr Economic Papers 98, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  8. repec:rwi:repape:0098 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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, vol. 26(1), pages 87-108, January.
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