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Bequests and heterogeneity in retirement wealth

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  • De Nardi, Mariacristina
  • Yang, Fang

Abstract

Households hold vastly heterogeneous amounts of wealth when they reach retirement, and differences in lifetime earnings explain only part of this variation. This paper studies the role of intergenerational transmission of ability, voluntary bequest motives, and the recipiency of accidental and intended bequests (both in terms of timing and size) in generating wealth dispersion at retirement, in the context of a rich quantitative model. Modeling voluntary bequests, and realistically calibrating them, not only generates more wealth dispersion at retirement and reduces the correlation between retirement wealth and lifetime income, but also generates a skewed bequest distribution that is close to the one in the observed data.

Suggested Citation

  • De Nardi, Mariacristina & Yang, Fang, 2014. "Bequests and heterogeneity in retirement wealth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 182-196.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:72:y:2014:i:c:p:182-196
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2014.09.004
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    Cited by:

    1. De Nardi, Mariacristina & Yang, Fang, 2016. "Wealth inequality, family background, and estate taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 130-145.
    2. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2015. "Quantitative Models of Wealth Inequality: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 21106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Córdoba, Juan Carlos & Liu, Xiying & Ripoll, Marla, 2016. "Fertility, social mobility and long run inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 103-124.
    4. Córdoba, Juan Carlos & Liu, Xiying & Ripoll, Marla, 2016. "Fertility, social mobility and long run inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 103-124.
    5. repec:cup:macdyn:v:22:y:2018:i:04:p:864-895_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jing You & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, 2017. "Smoothing or strengthening the ‘Great Gatsby Curve’? The intergenerational impact of China’s New Rural Pension Scheme," WIDER Working Paper Series 199, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. De Nardi, Mariacristina & Giulio , Fella & Yang, Fang, 2016. "Piketty’s Book and Macro Models of Wealth Inequality," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. Jan Siegmeier & Linus Mattauch & Max Franks & David Klenert & Anselm Schultes & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2015. "A Public Finance Perspective on Climate Policy: Six Interactions That May Enhance Welfare," Working Papers 2015.31, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Druedahl, Jeppe & Martinello, Alessandro, 2016. "Long-Run Saving Dynamics: Evidence from Unexpected Inheritances," Working Papers 2016:7, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 08 May 2018.
    10. Stefan Humer & Mathias Moser & Matthias Schnetzer, 2017. "Inheritances and the Accumulation of Wealth in the Eurozone," ICAE Working Papers 73, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.
    11. Frank A. Cowell & Philippe Kerm, 2015. "Wealth Inequality: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 671-710, September.
    12. Lancastre, Manuel, 2016. "Inequality and Real Interest Rates," MPRA Paper 85047, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Mathias Moser & Stefan Humer & Matthias Schnetzer, 2016. "Bequests and the accumulation of wealth in the Eurozone," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 149, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    14. Zhao, Kai, 2017. "Social insurance, private health insurance and individual welfare," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 102-117.
    15. Klenert, David & Mattauch, Linus & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2018. "Infrastructure And Inequality: Insights From Incorporating Key Economic Facts About Household Heterogeneity," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(04), pages 864-895, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wealth inequality; Retirement; Earnings shocks; Bequest; Social Security;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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