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Gifts, bequests and family incentives


  • Jellal, Mohamed
  • Wolff, Francois-Charles


In this note, we use the theory of incentive contracting to characterize the pattern of financial transfers within the family. Using an altruistic model based on bounded rationality with one parent and two children, we show that the parent may provide a lower gift to the less well-off child, while bequests are always compensatory
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  • Jellal, Mohamed & Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2007. "Gifts, bequests and family incentives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 313-318, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:94:y:2007:i:3:p:313-318

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lundholm, Michael & Ohlsson, Henry, 2000. "Post mortem reputation, compensatory gifts and equal bequests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 165-171, August.
    2. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 1996. "Bequests as a Heir "Discipline Device."," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(4), pages 405-414, November.
    3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sergei Severinov, 2003. "Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 733-764, August.
    4. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-314, May.
    5. Stark, Oded, 1998. "Equal bequests and parental altruism: compatibility or orthogonality?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 167-171, August.
    6. Anderson, Gary M. & Tollison, Robert D., 1991. "A theory of rational childhood," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 199-213, July.
    7. Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    8. McGarry, Kathleen, 1999. "Inter vivos transfers and intended bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 321-351, September.
    9. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    10. Wilhelm, Mark O, 1996. "Bequest Behavior and the Effect of Heirs' Earnings: Testing the Altruistic Model of Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 874-892, September.
    11. McGarry, K & Schoeni, R-F, 1996. "Measurement and the Redistribution of Resources Within the Family," Papers 96-11, RAND - Reprint Series.
    12. Dunn, Thomas A. & Phillips, John W., 1997. "The timing and division of parental transfers to children," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 135-137, February.
    13. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Parental Allocations to Children: New Evidence on Bequest Differences among Siblings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 637-640, May.
    14. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elin Halvorsen & Thor O. Thoresen, 2011. "Parents' Desire to Make Equal Inter Vivos Transfers," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(1), pages 121-155, March.

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    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior


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