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Erixson, Oscar
Publications (10 of 15) Show all publications
Erixson, O. & Ohlsson, H. (2019). Estate division: equal sharing, exchange motives, and Cinderella effects. Journal of Population Economics, 32(4), 1437-1480
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Estate division: equal sharing, exchange motives, and Cinderella effects
2019 (English)In: Journal of Population Economics, ISSN 0933-1433, E-ISSN 1432-1475, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 1437-1480Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study contributes to the empirical literature testing bequest motives by using a population-wide administrative dataset, covering data on inherited amounts for complete families matched with an extensive set of economic and demographic variables, to estimate the influence of child characteristics on differences in inherited amounts among siblings. Our main findings are, first, children who are more likely to have provided services to the parent receive more than their siblings, as predicted by the exchange model. Second, daughters with children receive more than sons with children. This is consistent with the prediction of the evolutionary model that larger investments should go to offspring who are certain to be genetically related. There are also Cinderella effects-that is, adopted stepchildren receive less than siblings who are biological or children who are adopted by both parents. Third, we do not find support for the prediction of the altruism model that bequests are compensatory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SPRINGER, 2019
Keywords
Estate division, Equal sharing, Exchange motives, Adopted children
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-391275 (URN)10.1007/s00148-018-0727-7 (DOI)000477028000010 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 446-2013-8058The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, P2013:0101:1The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, P2015:0147:1
Available from: 2019-08-26 Created: 2019-08-26 Last updated: 2019-08-26Bibliographically approved
Elinder, M., Erixson, O. & Waldenstrom, D. (2018). Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers. Journal of Public Economics, 165, 17-30
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers
2018 (English)In: Journal of Public Economics, ISSN 0047-2727, E-ISSN 1879-2316, Vol. 165, p. 17-30Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper uses population register data on inheritances and wealth in Sweden to estimate the causal impact of inheritances on wealth inequality. We find that inheritances reduce wealth inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient or top wealth shares, but that they increase absolute dispersion. This duality in effects stems from the fact that even though richer heirs inherit larger amounts, the relative importance of the inheritance is larger for less wealthy heirs, who inherit more relative to their pre-inheritance wealth. This is in part driven by the fact that heirs do not inherit debts, which makes the distribution of inheritances more equal than the distribution of wealth among the heirs. Behavioral adjustments seem to mitigate the equalizing effect of inheritances, possibly through higher consumption among the poorer heirs. Inheritance taxation counteracts the equalizing inheritance effect, but redistribution of inheritance tax revenues can reverse this result and make the inheritance tax equalizing. Finally, we also find that inheritances increase intragenerational wealth mobility, but the effect is short-lived.

Keywords
Bequests, Estates, Net worth, Inheritance taxation, Wealth distribution
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-369002 (URN)10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.06.012 (DOI)000447483600002 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 446-2013-8058
Available from: 2018-12-14 Created: 2018-12-14 Last updated: 2018-12-14Bibliographically approved
Erixson, O. & Escobar, S. (2018). Inheritance tax planning at the end of life. Uppsala: Department of Economics, Uppsala University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inheritance tax planning at the end of life
2018 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a nongoing debate about whether inheritance and estate taxes are effective in raising revenues and in contributing to a more equal society. The different views on transfer taxes are largely dependent on beliefs about whether people plan their wealth to avoid these taxes. In this paper, we follow Kopczuk (2007) and study people’s planning response to the onset of terminal illness. An extension of Kopczuk’s work is that we can effectively control for responses in wealth caused by terminal illness but unrelated to tax planning. We do this by exploiting a tax reform in Sweden that removed the incentives for people to plan their estates to avoid inheritance taxation. We find some evidence of long-term terminal illness inducing responses consistent with tax planning, but that these are not widespread or efficient enough to reduce the overall tax burden in the study population. Our results, similarly to those of Kopczuk, show that people appear to postpone some decisions about their estates until shortly before death.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, 2018. p. 49
Series
Working paper / Department of Economics, Uppsala University (Online), ISSN 1653-6975 ; 2018:5
Keywords
tax avoidance, tax evasion, tax reform, terminal illness
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-346165 (URN)
Available from: 2018-03-15 Created: 2018-03-15 Last updated: 2018-03-15Bibliographically approved
Erixson, O. (2017). Health responses to a wealth shock: evidence from a Swedish tax reform. Journal of Population Economics, 30(4), 1281-1336
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health responses to a wealth shock: evidence from a Swedish tax reform
2017 (English)In: Journal of Population Economics, ISSN 0933-1433, E-ISSN 1432-1475, Vol. 30, no 4, p. 1281-1336Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper makes two contributions to the literature on the effects of wealth on health. First, it deals with reverse causality and omitted variable bias by exploiting exogenous variation in inherited wealth generated by the repeal of the Swedish inheritance tax. Second, it analyzes responses in health outcomes through the use of administrative registers. The results show that increased wealth has limited short to medium run impacts on objective adult health. This is in line with what has previously been reported in the literature.

Keywords
Inheritance, Tax reform, Wealth shock, Objective health
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333058 (URN)10.1007/s00148-017-0651-2 (DOI)000406272800008 ()
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, P2013:0101:1
Available from: 2017-11-10 Created: 2017-11-10 Last updated: 2017-11-10Bibliographically approved
Elinder, M., Erixson, O. & Waldenström, D. (2015). Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers. Uppsala
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers
2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: , 2015. p. 48
Series
Working paper / Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies, Uppsala University ; 2015:3
Keywords
bequest; estate; net worth; inheritance taxation; wealth distribution
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-256879 (URN)
Available from: 2015-06-26 Created: 2015-06-26 Last updated: 2015-06-26Bibliographically approved
Erixson, O. & Ohlsson, H. (2014). Estate division: equal sharing as choice, social norm, and legal requirement. Uppsala: Nationalekonomiska institutionen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Estate division: equal sharing as choice, social norm, and legal requirement
2014 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The objective of this essay is to study to what extent parents divide their estates unequally between their children and the determinants of this decision. We use a new dataset based on the estate reports for almost 70,000 Swedish widows, widowers, divorcees and unmarried individuals who died with positive estates and at least two children. Unequal sharing is unusual; depending on definitions only 2–12 percent of the estates are unequally divided. Previous studies for other countries, particularly from the US, find that around 20–40 percent of parents divide their estates unequally. We argue that the relatively low frequency of unequal sharing in Sweden might be explained by contextual factors such as the inheritance law, the transfer tax system, the income distribution, and the welfare state. We also estimate models with family fixed effects to study how the characteristics of children to parents who choose unequal division affect the size of the transfer. The empirical estimates show that bequests are not used to compensate for income differences between children, suggesting that bequests are not guided by altruistic motives. Children who are likely to have provided services to the parent receive more than their siblings however. This suggests that, at least some bequests are guided by exchange motives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Nationalekonomiska institutionen, 2014. p. 45
Series
Working paper / Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies, Uppsala University ; 2014:2
Keywords
estate division, wills, equal sharing, bequests motives, inheritances
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-218840 (URN)
Available from: 2014-02-18 Created: 2014-02-18 Last updated: 2014-02-20Bibliographically approved
Elinder, M., Erixson, O., Escobar, S. & Ohlsson, H. (2014). Estates, bequests, and inheritances in Sweden - A look into the Belinda databases. Uppsala
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Estates, bequests, and inheritances in Sweden - A look into the Belinda databases
2014 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The objective of this paper is to describe two new administrative

Swedish databases, referred to as the Belinda databases. Together, these

databases contain the most detailed individual-level data on estates, bequests,

and inheritances currently available. We present descriptive statistics

for the key variables in the databases to give a picture of the size of

estates, the content of the bequests, and who the recipients of the inheritances

are. The statistics may serve as a point of reference for other

scholars, but also as an illustration of the various research possibilities that

the databases provide and how the data can be matched with other administrative

registers. We also, briefly, describe the institutional context

regarding intergenerational transfers in Sweden, including the inheritance

law and the inheritance tax.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: , 2014. p. 28
Series
Working paper / Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies, Uppsala University ; 2014:14
Keywords
intergenerational transfers, estates, bequests, inheritances, administrative
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237065 (URN)
Available from: 2014-11-26 Created: 2014-11-26 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved
Erixson, O. (2014). Health responses to a wealth shock: Evidence from a Swedish tax reform. Uppsala
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health responses to a wealth shock: Evidence from a Swedish tax reform
2014 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This essay contributes in two ways to the literature on the effects of economic circumstances on health. First, it deals with reverse causality and omitted variable bias by exploiting exogenous variation in inherited wealth generated by the unexpected repeal of the Swedish inheritance tax. Second, it analyzes responses in health outcomes from administrative registers. The results show that increased wealth has limited impacts on objective adult health over a period of six years. This is in line with what has been documented previously regarding subjective health outcomes. If anything, it appears as if the wealth shock resulting from the tax reform leads people to seek care for symptoms of disease, which result in that cancer is detected and possibly treated earlier. One possible explanation for this preventive response is that good health is needed for enjoying the improved consumption prospects generated by the wealth shock.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: , 2014. p. 44
Series
Working paper / Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies, Uppsala University ; 2014:3
Keywords
inheritances, tax reform, wealth shock, objective health
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219758 (URN)
Available from: 2014-03-05 Created: 2014-03-05 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
Erixson, O. (2013). Economic Decisions and Social Norms in Life and Death Situations. (Doctoral dissertation). Uppsala: Nationalekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Economic Decisions and Social Norms in Life and Death Situations
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Essay 1: (with Mikael Elinder) Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of “women and children first” (WCF) gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew members give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disasters spanning three centuries, covering the fate of over 15,000 individuals of more than 30 nationalities. Our results provide a unique picture of maritime disasters. Women have a distinct survival disadvantage compared with men. Captains and crew survive at a significantly higher rate than passengers. We also find that: the captain has the power to enforce normative behavior; there seems to be no association between duration of a disaster and the impact of social norms; women fare no better when they constitute a small share of the ship’s complement; the length of the voyage before the disaster appears to have no impact on women’s relative survival rate; the sex gap in survival rates has declined since World War I; and women have a larger disadvantage in British shipwrecks. Taken together, our findings show that human behavior in life-and-death situations is best captured by the expression “every man for himself.”

Essay 2: (with Henry Ohlsson) The objective of this essay is to study to what extent parents divide their estates unequally between their children and the determinants of this decision. We use a new dataset based on the estate reports for almost 70,000 Swedish widows, widowers, divorcees and unmarried individuals who died with positive estates and at least two children. Unequal sharing is unusual; depending on definitions only 2–12 percent of the estates are unequally divided. Previous studies for other countries, particularly from the US, find that around 20–40 percent of parents divide their estates unequally. We argue that the relatively low frequency of unequal sharing in Sweden might be explained by contextual factors such as the inheritance law, the transfer tax system, the income distribution, and the welfare state. We also estimate models with family fixed effects to study how the characteristics of children to parents who choose unequal division affect the size of the transfer. The empirical estimates show that bequests are not used to compensate for income differences between children, suggesting that bequests are not guided by altruistic motives. Children who are likely to have provided services to the parent receive more than their siblings however. This suggests that, at least some bequests are guided by exchange motives.

Essay 3: (with Mikael Elinder and Henry Ohlsson) The objective of this essay is to study when and how much labor and capital income of heirs respond to inheritances. We estimate fixed effects models following direct heirs, inheriting in 2004, during the years 2000–2008 using Swedish panel data. Our first main result is that the more the heir inherits, the lower her labor income becomes. This labor income effect appears in the years after the heir had inherited and is stronger for old heirs than for young heirs. We also find evidence of anticipation effects that occur before the actual transfer. Our second main result is that the more the heir inherits, the higher her capital income becomes. This effect only appears in the years after receiving the inheritance. It seems to be dissipating after a couple of years.

Essay 4: This essay contributes in two ways to the literature on the effects of economic circumstances on health. First, it deals with reverse causality and omitted variable bias by exploiting previously exogenous variation in inherited wealth generated by the unexpected repeal of the Swedish inheritance tax. Second, it analyzes responses in health outcomes from administrative registers. The results show that increased wealth has limited impacts on objective adult health over a period of six years. This is in line with what has been documented previously regarding subjective health outcomes. If anything, it appears as if the wealth shock resulting from the tax reform leads people to seek care for symptoms of disease, which result in that cancer is detected and possibly treated earlier. One possible explanation for this preventive response is that good health is needed for enjoying the improved consumption prospects generated by the wealth shock.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Nationalekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, 2013. p. 183
Series
Economic studies, ISSN 0283-7668 ; 141
Keywords
mortality, social norms, dicrimination, maritime disasters, altruism, estate division, wills, equal sharing, bequests motives, inheritances, windfall gains, tax reform, labor income, capital income, health
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209981 (URN)978-91-85519-48-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-16, B115, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10 B, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-11-22 Created: 2013-10-29 Last updated: 2013-11-22
Elinder, M. & Erixson, O. (2012). Every man for himself: Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters. Uppsala: Uppsala universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Every man for himself: Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters
2012 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of ‘women and children first’ gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disasters spanning three centuries, covering the fate of over 15,000 individuals of more than 30 nationalities. Our results provide a new picture of maritime disasters. Women have a distinct survival disadvantage compared to men. Captains and crew survive at a significantly higher rate than passengers. We also find that the captain has the power to enforce normative behavior, that the gender gap in survival rates has declined, that women have a larger disadvantage in British shipwrecks, and that there seems to be no association between duration of a disaster and the impact of social norms. Taken together, our findings show that behavior in life-and-death situation is best captured by the expression ‘Every man for himself’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2012. p. 68
Series
Working paper / Department of Economics, Uppsala University (Online), ISSN 1653-6975 ; 2012:8
Keywords
Social norms, Disaster, Women and children first, Mortality, High stakes
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172527 (URN)
Available from: 2012-04-11 Created: 2012-04-11 Last updated: 2012-04-11Bibliographically approved
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