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The division of parental transfers in Europe

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  • Javier OLIVERA ANGULO

Abstract

In the extensively studied equal division puzzle, one finds very large shares of equal bequests and unequal inter-vivos transfers given to adult children. However, such puzzle is less evident in Europe as we find a higher prevalence of parents giving equal inter-vivos transfers. We argue that altruistic parents are also concerned with norms of equal division. Thus, parents do not fully offset child income inequality. The parents start to give larger transfers to poorer children if the child income inequality becomes unbearable from the parent’s view. We find econometric evidence for this behaviour using microeconomic data of 12 European countries from the two waves of the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces11.20.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces11.20

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  1. Ernesto Villanueva, 2001. "Parental altruism under imperfect information: Theory and evidence," Economics Working Papers 566, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2002.
  2. Edward C. Norton & Courtney Harold Van Houtven, 2006. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Exchange," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 157–172, July.
  3. Lundholm, Michael & Ohlsson, Henry, 1999. "Post Mortem Reputation, Compensatory Gifts and Equal Bequests," Research Papers in Economics 1999:1, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  4. Stefan Hochguertel & Henry Ohlsson, 2009. "Compensatory inter vivos gifts," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 993-1023.
  5. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek & Ian Walker, 2003. "The Returns to Education: Microeconomics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 115-156, 04.
  6. Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
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