Why Do People Leave Bequests? For Love or Self-Interest? Evidence from a New International Survey of Bequest Plans
AbstractThis 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.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of the Philippines School of Economics in its series UP School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 201406.
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as UPSE Discussion Paper No. 2014-06 R, May 2014
Bequests; inheritances; estates; inter vivos transfers; intergenerational transfers; bequest motives; bequest division; equal division; altruism; selfishness; selfish life cycle model; altruism model; dynasty model; primogeniture; selfish exchange model; culture; religiosity; religion;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
- P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-05-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-MAC-2014-05-04 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-SEA-2014-05-04 (South East Asia)
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