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Planned and Unplanned Bequests

  • Hamermesh, Daniel S
  • Menchik, Paul L

The authors distinguish between bequests that are planned as part of a life time optimization process and those that are the unplanned result of errors in forecasting the date of death. Given the initial endowment, a positive relation b etween the bequest and the planning horizon, and a negative relation between unexpectedly long life and the bequest is expected. A unique data set on wealthy de cedents and their parents provides measures of expected horizons based on parents' longevity. Both predictions are confirmed, and there is an especially large and significant positive relation between the bequest and the length of the planning horizon. Copyright 1987 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 25 (1987)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 55-66

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:25:y:1987:i:1:p:55-66
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  1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  3. Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-77, June.
  4. Menchik, Paul L, 1979. "Inter-generational Transmission of Inequality: An Empirical Study of Wealth Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 46(184), pages 349-62, November.
  5. Nagatani, Keizo, 1972. "Life Cycle Saving: Theory and Fact," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 344-53, June.
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