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To Leave or Not to Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives

  • Wojciech Kopczuk
  • Joseph P. Lupton

We examine the effect of observed and unobserved heterogeneity in the desire to die with positive net worth. Using a structural life-cycle model nested in a switching regression with unknown sample separation, we find that roughly three-fourths of the elderly single population has abequest motive. Both the presence and the magnitude of the bequest motive are statistically and economically significant. On average, households with a bequest motive spend about 25% less on consumption expenditures. We conclude that, among the elderly single households in our sample, about four-fifths of their net wealth will be bequeathed and approximately half of this is due to a bequest motive. Copyright 2007, Wiley-Blackwell.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2007.00419.x
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 74 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 207-235

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:1:p:207-235
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