From Sweden, more evidence that death is disturbingly endogenous:

Does taxation affect the timing of death? This is an interesting example of how behavior might be affected by economic incentives. We study how two changes in Swedish inheritance taxation 2003/04 and 2004/05 have affected mortality during the turns of the years. Our first main result is that deceased with estates taxable for legal heirs were 10 percentage points more likely to have died on New Year’s Day 2005, from when the inheritance tax was repealed, rather than on New Year’s Eve 2004, compared to deceased without taxable estates for legal heirs. The second main result is that deceased with estates taxable for a married spouse were 12 percentage points more likely to have died on New Year’s Day 2004, from when the inheritance tax between spouses was repealed, rather than on New Year’s Eve 2003, compared to deceased without taxable estates for a married spouse.

5 Responses to Now that’s a tax review

  1. Dave says:

    It would be more disturbing if deaths had occurred earlier when inheritance tax was first introduced.
     
    Maybe inheritance tax changes need to be implemented suddenly, like excise increases on petrol and tobacco.

  2. Bruce Bradbury says:

    I agree with Dave. The endogeneity of birth and death is not always a big deal. If someone is at death’s door, then keeping the respirator going another 12 hours does not make that much difference to quality of life. Similarly, results showing births being delayed could reflect a reduction in births being induced early (which might be good on balance).

  3. Matt C says:

    Well the afterlife is just pure rent

  4. Albert C says:

    I’ve always been a bit concerned about the Swedish…

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