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Bequest motives: a comparison of Sweden and the United States

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  • Laitner, John
  • Ohlsson, Henry

Abstract

This paper reviews four well--known theoretical models of private bequest behavior, notes their differing implications for public policy, and discusses a way of empirically discriminating among them. Then it implements the test with micro data from Sweden (LLS) and the U.S. (PSID). The so-called altruistic (or dynastic) model, which, among the four models, has perhaps the most wide-ranging implications for policy, receives some, though limited, support in the LLS, but not the PSID. The inter-country difference is statistically significant. There is evidence of a potential complication due to a dependence of children's education on parents financial status in the case of the U.S.
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  • Laitner, John & Ohlsson, Henry, 2001. "Bequest motives: a comparison of Sweden and the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 205-236, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:79:y:2001:i:1:p:205-236
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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