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Do Germans Save to Leave an Estate? An Examination of the Bequest Motive

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  • Jurges, Hendrik

Abstract

I investigate whether a bequest motive for savings influences the post-retirement wealth trajectories of German households. Two measures of the bequest motive are studied: the existence of children as the main group of potential heirs and the respondents' declared intention to bequeath. While having children has no significant impact on households' wealth trajectories, stated bequest intentions are associated with considerable heterogeneity in wealth holdings. The main conclusion from this study is that both the pure life-cycle model and the life-cycle model with bequest motives provide a valid basis for a theory of household wealth accumulation once the heterogeneity of preferences is acknowledged. Copyright 2001 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

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  • Jurges, Hendrik, 2001. " Do Germans Save to Leave an Estate? An Examination of the Bequest Motive," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(3), pages 391-414, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:103:y:2001:i:3:p:391-414
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    Cited by:

    1. Bartzsch Nikolaus, 2008. "Precautionary Saving and Income Uncertainty in Germany – New Evidence from Microdata," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(1), pages 5-24, February.
    2. Westerheide Peter, 2005. "Auswirkungen von Erbschaften und Schenkungen auf die Vermögensbildung privater Personen und Haushalte / The Importance of Intergenerational Transfers for Private Wealth Accumulation: Eine empirische A," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 225(4), pages 459-481, August.
    3. Julie Vanriet-Margueron, 2004. "Households' Age-Wealth Profiles and the Composite 'Life Cycle-Precautionary Saving' Motive," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 46, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    4. Mathias Sommer, 2007. "Savings motives and the effectiveness of tax incentives – an analysis based on the demand for life insurance in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 07125, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    5. Schunk Daniel, 2009. "What Determines Household Saving Behavior: An Examination of Saving Motives and Saving Decisions 06.01.2009," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(4), pages 467-491, August.
    6. Nicolas Sauter & Jan Walliser & Joachim Winter, 2010. "Tax Incentives, Bequest Motives, and the Demand for Life Insurance: Evidence from two Natural Experiments in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 3040, CESifo Group Munich.

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