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Tax and Transfer Policy Institute presents


The impact of tax policy on the demand for private health insurance in Australia


Public seminar


21st July 2015


Seminar Room 9, Level 2, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Associate Professor Xiaodong Gong, National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, University of Canberra.



This paper is motivated by our attempt to answer an empirical question: how is private health insurance take-up in Australia affected by the income threshold at which the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) kicks in? We propose a new difference de-convolution kernel estimator for the location and size of regression discontinuities. We also propose a bootstrapping procedure for estimating confidence bands for the estimated discontinuity. Performance of the estimator is evaluated by Monte Carlo simulations before it is applied to estimating the effect of the income threshold of Medicare Levy Surcharge on the take-up of private health insurance in Australia using contaminated data.

Xiaodong joined the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) in March 2011. Xiaodong has published in International and Australian journals such as Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, The Economic Record and many other reputable journals. His work includes modelling labour supply, tax and transfer policy, childcare, labour mobility, child development and education, and household consumption.

Prior to joining NATSEM, Xiaodong has worked at the Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA) in Germany, The Australian National University, and the Australian Treasury. He is adjunct to the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University and a Fellow of the IZA.


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