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

  • Jurges, Hendrik

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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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 103 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 391-414

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:103:y:2001:i:3:p:391-414
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