The Strategic Bequest Motive
AbstractAlthough recent research suggests that intergenerational transfers play an important role in aggregate capital accumulation, our understanding of bequest motives remains incomplete. We develop a simple model of strategic bequests in which a testator influences the decisions of his beneficiaries by holding wealth in bequeathal forms and by conditioning the division of bequests on the beneficiaries' actions. The model generates falsifiable empirical predictions that are inconsistent with other theories of intergenerational transfer. We present econometric and other evidence that strongly suggests that bequests are often used as compensation for services rendered by beneficiaries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3721794.
Date of creation: 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Labor Economics
Other versions of this item:
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-76, December.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S151-82, July.
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