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Inter-vivos Giving Over the Lifecycle

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  • Michael Hurd
  • James P. Smith
  • Julie Zissimopoulos

Abstract

Inter-vivos cash transfers and bequests between family members total hundreds of billions of dollars each year. They may equalize resources within a generation of a family as well as across family generations. Transfers delayed to the end of life may represent a significant motive for saving. The authors use longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study on inter-vivos transfers that span up to twelve years to: describe financial transfers made by parents to children and their correlation with donor characteristics, examine age patterns in giving behavior, the persistence of transfers, and how transfers change in response to changes in marital status, economic status and health. Their empirical analysis is motivated by a dynamic life-cycle model with intervivos transfers as an argument in the utility function which generates hypotheses about the age pattern of transfers and how mortality risk, risk aversion and economic resources affect giving behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 524.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:524

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Keywords: Intergenerational transfers; life-cycle consumption; household behavior;

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  1. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Donald Cox & Zekeriya Eser & Emmanuel Jimenez, 1996. "Motives for Private Transfers over the Life Cycle: An Analytical Framework and Evidence for Peru," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 327., Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. Menchik, Paul L, 1980. "Primogeniture, Equal Sharing, and the U. S. Distribution of Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 299-316, March.
  4. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2006. "Differential Mortality, Uncertain Medical Expenses, and the Saving of Elderly Singles," 2006 Meeting Papers 46, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. 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.
  6. McGarry, K & Schoeni, R-F, 1996. "Measurement and the Redistribution of Resources Within the Family," Papers 96-11, RAND - Reprint Series.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
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Cited by:
  1. Lei, Xiaoyan & Giles, John & Hu, Yuqing & Park, Albert & Strauss, John & Zhao, Yaohui, 2012. "Patterns and correlates of intergenerational non-time transfers : evidence from CHARLS," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6076, The World Bank.
  2. Thomas Emery, 2013. "Intergenerational transfers and European families: Does the number of siblings matter?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(10), pages 247-274, August.
  3. Solveig Cunningham & Kathryn Yount & Michal Engelman & Emily Agree, 2013. "Returns on Lifetime Investments in Children in Egypt," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 699-724, April.

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