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Inheritance, Steady-State Consumption Inequality, and the Lifetime Earnings Process


  • Wilhelm, Mark O


This paper presents a tractable model where the effect of inheritance on steady-state consumption inequality can be derived under both linear and piecewise linear bequest functions. As has been found in previous research, the linear bequest function yields inheritances which reduce consumption inequality regardless of the model's parameters. However, in the piecewise linear model, whether inheritances increase or reduce steady-state consumption inequality depends on the magnitude of the marginal propensity to bequeath, the amount of earnings inequality, and the degree of intergenerational earnings mobility. Copyright 1997 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd and The Victoria University of Manchester

Suggested Citation

  • Wilhelm, Mark O, 1997. "Inheritance, Steady-State Consumption Inequality, and the Lifetime Earnings Process," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 65(4), pages 466-476, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:manch2:v:65:y:1997:i:4:p:466-76

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1990. "New Evidence on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 149-214.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gokhale, Jagadeesh & Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Sefton, James & Weale, Martin, 2001. "Simulating the transmission of wealth inequality via bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 93-128, January.
    2. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2002. "The Impact of Social Security and Other Factors on the Distribution of Wealth," NBER Chapters,in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 85-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bossmann, Martin & Kleiber, Christian & Walde, Klaus, 2007. "Bequests, taxation and the distribution of wealth in a general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1247-1271, August.

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