Death Tax Studies

Below you will find the most complete and up-to-date library anywhere of studies done on the harmful effects of the Death Tax. The following studies have been authored by many of the most prominent economists in the country and we hope you find them useful. They are categorized by subject and author. 


*Please Click below to read the most recent economic study on the Swedish Death Tax, which was abolished ten years ago. This is a study done by our friend Anders Ydstedt, a respected European public policy advisor owner at Scantech Strategy Advisors and Amanda Wollstad. 

Ten Years Without the Swedish Inheritance Tax - December, 2015 




Studies by Dr. William Beach (Chief Economist of Senate Budget Committee, Majority)

1. Seven Reasons Why Congress Should Repeal, Not Fix, Death Tax

Author: Dr. Bill Beach 

This paper analyzes how the Death Tax negatively effects job creation, punishes savings and investment and actually hurts minority and women business owners. 

2. Time To Repeal Federal Death Taxes: The Nightmare of the American Dream

Author: Dr. Bill Beach 

This paper analyzes the destructive nature of the Death Tax as well as demonstrating how the economic cost of the tax far outweighs the revenue it brings in. 

3. The Case For Repealing the Estate Tax 

Author : Dr. Bill Beach

This study provides a historical overview and analysis of the Death Tax, beginning with its origins as a barrier to wealth. 


Studies by Dr. Patrick F. Fagan (Senior Director and Fellow, Family Research Council) 

1. How The Death Tax Kills Small Businesses 

Author: Patrick F. Fagan, PhD

This study illustrates the destructive harm the Death Tax has on American small businesses and the damage it does to the communities in which those businesses operate and have operated for generations. 

2. Repealing Death Tax Will Create Jobs, Boost Economy

Author: Patrick F. Fagan, PhD and Palmer Schoening 

Through economic analysis and cited studies, Patrick Fagan and Palmer Schoening show that 1.5 million jobs would be created by repealing the Death Tax. 


Studies by Antony Davies, PhD (Associate Professor of Economics, Duquense University School of Business) 

1. The Cost of Compromise: Impact of the 2011-2012 Estate Tax

Author: Antony Davies, PhD

This Study examines the impact that a raise in the Death Tax rate and lowering of the exemption would have on small businesses, farms and households. 

2. Myths and Realities Surrounding the Estate Tax 

Author: Antony Davies, PhD and Pavel Yakolev, PhD 

This econmic study measures the macroeconomic effect of changes in state and federal Death Taxes

3. Why Family Businesses Matter 

Author: Antony Davies, PhD

This paper examines the critical role family-owned businesses play in harvesting economic growth. 


Studies by Professor Douglas Holtz-Eakin (Former Director of the Congressional Budget Office) 

1. Changing Views of the Estate Tax: Implications for Legislative Options

Authors: Professor Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Cameron T. Smith 

Professor Holtz-Eakin points out that "research has revised the traditional view of the estate tax as a benign act of social redistribution. It is now understood that the Death Tax recuces growth, employment and thwarts a higher standard of living." 

2. Growth Consequences of Estate Tax Reform: Impact on Small and Family Businesses 

Authors: Professor Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Cameron T. Smith 

This study examines the impact of how increases in the Death Tax hurt small and family businesses. 

3. Estate Taxes, Life Insurance and Small Businesses

Author: Douglas Holtz-Eakin 

This study examines the ramifications of the life-insurance industry on business owners looking to protect themselves from the Death Tax. 

4. Distortion Costs of Taxing Wealth Accumulation: Income Versus Estate Taxes

Authors: Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Donald Marples


Studies by Curtis Dubay (Research Fellow, Tax and Economic Policy Heritage Foundation) 

1. The Economic Case Against the Death Tax 

Author: Curtis Dubay

This study examines how the Death Tax is an economic impediment to job growth and lowers wages as well as discouraging savings and investments. 


Studies by Professor Edward J. McCaffrey (Tax and Law Professor, California Institute of Technology) 

1. "Grave Robbers" : The Moral Case Against the Death Tax

Author: Ed McCaffrey 

Noted liberal professor Ed McCaffrey conducts a policy analysis on why the Death Tax actually fails to produce the amount of federal tax revenue that it's supporters claim. 



1. Joint Economic Committee: Cost and Consequences of the Federal Estate Tax (July, 2012) 

The costs of the Death Tax include dissolution of family businesses, slower growth of capitol stock and lower GDP and income. 

2. Joint Economic Committee: Costs and Consequences of the Federal Estate Tax (May, 2006) 

This study shows that the Death Tax has reduced capitol stock in the economy by $847 billion. Repeal would not effect wealth or income equality, and would have only modest, if any impact on charitable giving. 



Studies by Stephen J. Entin (Senior Fellow, Tax Foundation) 

1. Estate Taxes, Deficits and Budget Implications 

Author: Stephen J. Entin 

Economist Steve Entin shows that the Death Tax is "so destructive on investment and employment that it reduces federal revenue over time by eroding the tax base." He applies dynmaic scoring to other aspects of the gift and estate taxes to show the destructive effects of these taxes on the real economy and on federal revenues. 

2. A Score of the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act (April, 2011) 

Author: Stephen J. Entin 

Steve shows how Congress' means of predicting the results of tax changes is in great error and skews Congress away from pro-growth tax bills. He shows how Death Tax Repeal, if scored correctly, would be endorsed because of its economic benefits. 

3. Kill the Death Tax

Author: Stephen J. Entin 

Our friend Steve Entin shows that the Death Tax reduces labor productivity and wages. He states, "We estimate that eliminating the Death Tax would add about 1.1% to the private sector GDP. Restoring it would eradicate that gain. In today's terms, it would deprive us of $120 billion per year in lost income, on which the federal government would collect more than $35 billion in taxes. That is more than the current Death Tax brings in and more than the peak take in 2001. 


Studies by Dan Clifton (Partner and Head of Research, Strategas) 

1. Learning From History Part II: Estate Tax Repeal Will Have No Effect on the Budget Deficit 

Dan Clifton shows that the models the Joint Committee on Taxation uses are wrong. Instead of resulting in major deficits, "the dynamic economic effects from repeal will be more than enough to cover the "cost" of repealing the Estate Tax". 



Studies by Dr. Arthur Laffer (noted economist, academic and president of Laffer Associates)

1. The Economic Consequences of Tennessee's Estate and Gift Tax

Author: Dr. Arthur Laffer

Dr. Laffer finds that Tennessee's high estate and gift taxes contributed to it's negative economic growth and how by repealing it would lead to higher job creation. 


Ocean State Policy Research Center

1. "Leaving Rhode Island" Policy Lessons From Rhode Island's Exodus of People and Money 

This study shows the massive negative economic impact that Rhode Island's Death Tax has on its citizens and the subsequent migration of population to other states. 


Connecticut Department of Revenue Services 

1. Connecticut Estate Tax Study 

This study analyzes the effects of Connecticut's Death Tax and how it actually decreased revenue brought in to the state government. 


Regent Atlantic 

1. Exodus on the Parkway: Are Taxes Driving Wealthy Residents Out of New Jersey? 

This is a collaborative study done by the wealth and management group Regent Atlantic. Included in it is econommic data and testimonies from academics, lawyers, wealth advisors and former New Jersey State Assembly Members. It focuses on the continued migration of Garden State residents out of the state due to high taxes. 



1. Life Insurance Cash Cow: An Issue Brief on the Hidden Side of Estate Tax Lobbying

Authors: Tim Carney and Dick Patten 

This study exposes the fact that the life insurance industry is the largest lobbying group to support the Death Tax. Why? Because they sell policies to help pay the Death Tax levies - in effect lobbying against the interests of their customers. 



1. Death and Taxes: The Economics of the Federal Estate Tax 

This study by the Tax Foundation shows that it is not the wealthy who bear the burden of the Death Tax, as the tax does little or nothing to redistribute wealth. The tax instead lowers federal revenues, and wastes billions of dollars in direct and indirect compliance costs. 

2. How Do Americans Feel About Taxes Today? 

The Tax Foundation's 2009 survey of U.S. attitudes on taxes, government spending and wealth distribution showed that the Death Tax was seen as the "least fair tax among all federal taxes." Two-thirds of U.S. adults (67%) say they favor complete elimination of the tax. Only 17% oppose repeal. 

3. Impact of the Estate Tax on Small Businesses

Author: Adam Nicholson 

This is a summary of studies that shows the devastating effects of the Death Tax on small businesses and the jobs they provide to their communities. 

4. Public Opinion on Taxes: 1937 to Today 

This comprehensive study of American's view of taxes through the decades finds that " in no instance does more than a tiny percentage of Americans say the amount of taxes they pay was too low".