Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Are Americans and Indians More Altruistic than the Japanese and Chinese? Evidence from a New International Survey of Bequest Plans

Contents:

Author Info

  • Charles Yuji Horioka

Abstract

This paper discusses three alternative assumptions concerning household preferences (altruism, self-interest, and a desire for dynasty building) and shows that these assumptions have very different implications for bequest motives and bequest division. After reviewing some of the literature on actual bequests, bequest motives, and bequest division, the paper presents data on the strength of bequest motives, stated bequest motives, and bequest division plans from a new international survey conducted in China, India, Japan, and the United States. It finds striking inter-country differences in bequest plans, with the bequest plans of Americans and Indians appearing to be much more consistent with altruistic preferences than those of the Japanese and Chinese and the bequest plans of the Japanese and Chinese appearing to be much more consistent with selfish preferences than those of Americans and Indians. These findings have important implications for the efficacy and desirability of stimulative fiscal policies, public pensions, and inheritance taxes.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20158.pdf
Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20158.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Review of Economics of the Household, vol. 12, issue 3 ( September 2014) (Special Issue on "Altruism and Monetary Transfers in the Household: Inter and Intra-generation Issues").
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20158

Note: AG EFG PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2001. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic, or Dynastic?," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-134, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  3. McGarry, Kathleen, 1999. "Inter vivos transfers and intended bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 321-351, September.
  4. Abel, Andrew B & Warshawsky, Mark, 1988. "Specification of the Joy of Giving: Insights from Altruism," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 145-49, February.
  5. Fumio Hayashi, 1986. "Why Is Japan's Saving Rate So Apparently High?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 147-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sergei Severinov, 2000. "Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 7791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lundholm, M. & Ohlsson, H., 1999. "Post Mortem Reputation, Compensatory Gifts and Equal Bequests," Papers 1999:3, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  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. Sankar Mukhopadhyay, 2009. "Religion, Religiosity and Educational Attainment of Immigrants to the USA," Working Papers 09-003, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics & University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
  14. Audrey Light & Kathleen McGarry, 2004. "Why Parents Play Favorites: Explanations for Unequal Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1669-1681, December.
  15. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
  16. Oded Stark, 1988. "Equal Bequests and Parental Altruism: Compatibility or Orthogonality?," Departmental Working Papers _089, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  17. José Molina, 2013. "Altruism in the household: in kind transfers in the context of kin selection," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 309-312, September.
  18. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  19. Tomes, Nigel, 1981. "The Family, Inheritance, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 928-58, October.
  20. David Campbell, 1997. "Transfer and Life-cycle Wealth in Japan, 1974–1984," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 410-423, December.
  21. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2009. "Do Bequests Increase or Decrease Wealth Inequalities?," NBER Working Papers 14639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1988. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 41-58, Spring.
  23. Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-77, June.
  24. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-91, April.
  25. Ohtake, F., 1991. "Bequest Motives of Aged Households in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0249, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  26. Maria G. Perozek, 1998. "A Reexamination of the Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 423-445, April.
  27. 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.
  28. World Bank, 2013. "World Development Indicators 2013," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13191, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20158. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.