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Bequests, Gifts, and Social Security

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  • John Laitner

Abstract

This paper analyses the very long run, or "stationary state," impact of an unfunded social security system. We use an overlapping generations model framework. A key feature is that while parents care about their children and can leave non-negative bequests to them, children also care about their parents and can make non-negative "gifts" to them. We show that the possibility of negative "net bequests" may make social security less harmful to private wealth accumulation than would otherwise be the case. A subsidiary finding is that risk-loving behaviour may emerge for some households due to the nature of intergenerational transfers within family lines.

Suggested Citation

  • John Laitner, 1988. "Bequests, Gifts, and Social Security," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 275-299.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:55:y:1988:i:2:p:275-299.
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