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Transfers From Migrants To Their Children: Evidence That Altruism And Cultural Factors Matter

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  • François-Charles Wolff
  • Seymour Spilerman
  • Claudine Attias-Donfut

Abstract

This paper focuses on the determinants of financial inter vivos transfers by migrants living in France in 2003 to their adult children. From a theoretical viewpoint, such transfers may be explained either by altruism or by exchange. While parents would direct their assistance to their less well off children under altruism, support should be channeled to children who live nearby their parents under the exchange motive. We assess the relevance of these two motives using the French PRI survey. Unequal sharing is frequently observed and children are more likely to receive financial transfers when they are in poor circumstance, but not necessarily when living in proximity to parents. We also emphasize the role of cultural factors as determinants of the parental allocation among children. Muslim parents, in particular, are more likely to make transfers to sons than to daughters. Copyright � 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation � International Association for Research in Income and Wealth 2007.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income and Wealth.

Volume (Year): 53 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 619-644

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:53:y:2007:i:4:p:619-644

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References

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  1. Audrey Light & Kathleen McGarry, 2003. "Why Parents Play Favorites: Explanations for Unequal Bequests," NBER Working Papers 9745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
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  7. Cox, Donald, 1990. "Intergenerational Transfers and Liquidity Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 187-217, February.
  8. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-18, October.
  9. Hochguertel , Stefan & Ohlsson, Henry, 2000. "Compensatory inter vivos gifts," Working Papers in Economics 31, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  10. François-Charles Wolff, 2000. "Transferts monétaires "inter vivos" et cycle de vie," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 51(6), pages 1419-1452.
  11. Dunn, Thomas A. & Phillips, John W., 1997. "The timing and division of parental transfers to children," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 135-137, February.
  12. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1995. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 65, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  13. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "The Family and the State," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, April.
  14. Lee Lillard & Robert Willis, 1997. "Motives for interqenerational transfers: Evidence from Malaysia," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 115-134, February.
  15. Arrondel, Luc & Laferrere, Anne, 2001. "Taxation and wealth transmission in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 3-33, January.
  16. Cox, Donald & Jakubson, George, 1995. "The connection between public transfers and private interfamily transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 129-167, May.
  17. Wilhelm, Mark O, 1996. "Bequest Behavior and the Effect of Heirs' Earnings: Testing the Altruistic Model of Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 874-92, September.
  18. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-14, May.
  19. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1998. "Self-Employment and Wealth Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(1), pages 25-42, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Mitrut, Andreea & Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2013. "Investing in children's education: Are Muslim immigrants different?," Working Papers in Economics 575, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Elke Holst & Andrea Schäfer & Mechthild Schrooten, 2011. "Remittances and Gender: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 354, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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