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Estate division: equal sharing, exchange motives, and Cinderella effects

Author

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  • Oscar Erixson

    (Uppsala University)

  • Henry Ohlsson

    (Uppsala University and Sveriges Riksbank)

Abstract

This study contributes to the empirical literature testing bequest motives by using a population-wide administrative dataset, covering data on inherited amounts for complete families matched with an extensive set of economic and demographic variables, to estimate the influence of child characteristics on differences in inherited amounts among siblings. Our main findings are, first, children who are more likely to have provided services to the parent receive more than their siblings, as predicted by the exchange model. Second, daughters with children receive more than sons with children. This is consistent with the prediction of the evolutionary model that larger investments should go to offspring who are certain to be genetically related. There are also Cinderella effects—that is, adopted stepchildren receive less than siblings who are biological or children who are adopted by both parents. Third, we do not find support for the prediction of the altruism model that bequests are compensatory.

Suggested Citation

  • Oscar Erixson & Henry Ohlsson, 2019. "Estate division: equal sharing, exchange motives, and Cinderella effects," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(4), pages 1437-1480, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:32:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s00148-018-0727-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-018-0727-7
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Estate division; Equal sharing; Exchange motives; Adopted children;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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