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Family Transfers Involving Three Generations

  • Arrondel, Luc
  • Masson, Andre

Most models of family transfers consider only two generations and focus on two motives: altruism and exchange. They also assume perfect substitution between inter-vivos downward transfers and bequests. Based on French evidence, we show that parent-to-child transfers belong to three distinct categories (investment in child's education, financial assistance, wealth transmission), and advocate a three-generation framework. Thus, transfer behavior of parents toward their children is strongly influenced by the behavior of their own parents. There is also some evidence of the Cox and Stark demonstration effect: parents help their own parents, expecting to receive comparable support from their children. Such behavior can be regarded as indirect reciprocity: the beneficiary does not give back to the initial giver but to a third person of another generation. 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: 415-43

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:103:y:2001:i:3:p:415-43
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  1. Arrondel, L. & Laferrere, A., 1998. "Taxation and Wealth Transmission in France," DELTA Working Papers 98-13, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1987. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," NBER Working Papers 2237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1121-66, December.
  4. Masson, A. & Pestieau, P., 1996. "Bequests motives and models of inheritance: a survey of the literature," DELTA Working Papers 96-20, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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  9. Stefan Hochguertal & Henry Ohlsson, 2000. "Inter Vivos Gifts: Compensatory or Equal Sharing?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0699, Econometric Society.
  10. François-Charles Wolff & Luc Arrondel, 1998. "La nature des transferts inter vivos en France : investissements humains, aides financières et transmission du patrimoine," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 135(4), pages 1-27.
  11. Arrondel, L. & Masson, A., 1999. "Family Transfers Involving Three Generations," DELTA Working Papers 1999-16, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  12. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence Kotlikoff, . "The Effects of Income and Wealth on Time and MOney Transfers Between Parents and Children," IPR working papers 96-5, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
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  16. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. André Masson, 1999. "Quelle solidarité intergénérationnelle ?," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 14(1), pages 27-90.
  18. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-14, May.
  19. Arrondel, L. & Masson, A. & Pestieau, P., 1996. "Bequest and inheritance: empirical issues and France-U.S. comparison," DELTA Working Papers 96-19, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  20. Donald Cox & Oded Stark, 1996. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Demonstration Effect," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 329., Boston College Department of Economics.
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  23. McGarry, Kathleen, 1999. "Inter vivos transfers and intended bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 321-351, September.
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