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Aspirations, Habit Formation, and Bequest Motive


  • Jaime Alonso-Carrera
  • Jordi Caballé
  • Xavier Raurich


We analyze how the presence of endogenous preferences affects the altruistic bequest motive from parents to children. We will show that the existence of habits raises the threshold value of the intergenerational discount factor above which altruistic bequests are positive, while aspiration formation could push this value down. Therefore, the dynamic inefficiency of the economy with no altruism is not sufficient to prevent the bequest motive from being operative under aspiration formation. We also discuss the implications of public debt when the bequest motive is inoperative and preferences exhibit habit and aspiration formation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Aspirations, Habit Formation, and Bequest Motive," Working Papers 136, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:136

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballe, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2005. "Growth, habit formation, and catching-up with the Joneses," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1665-1691, August.
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    9. de la Croix, David & Michel, Philippe, 1997. "Altruism and self-refrain," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1998010, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 00 Apr 1998.
    10. Mohamed Jellal & Francois-Charles Wolff, 2002. "Altruistic Bequests with Inherited Tastes," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 1(2), pages 95-113, August.
    11. Caballe, Jordi, 1995. "Endogenous Growth, Human Capital, and Bequests in a Life-Cycle Model," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 156-181, January.
    12. de la Croix, David, 1996. "The dynamics of bequeathed tastes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 89-96, October.
    13. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Consumption Externalities, Habit Formation and Equilibrium Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 231-251, June.
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    19. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64:p:12 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Jose Maria Casado & Jose Maria Labeaga, 2016. "Envy and Habits: Panel Data Estimates of Interdependent Preferences," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(4), pages 443-469, August.
    2. Valente, Simone, 2011. "Habit formation and resource dependence in dynastic economies," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 131-145, May.
    3. Jordi Caballé & Ana I. Moro Egido, 2008. "The Effect of Aspirations, Habits, and Social Security on the Distribution of Wealth," ThE Papers 08/02, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    4. Emmanuelle Augeraud-Veron & Mauro Bambi, 2012. "Does habit formation always increase the agents' desire to smooth consumption?," Discussion Papers 12/12, Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. Schäfer, Andreas & Valente, Simone, 2011. "Habit Formation, Dynastic Altruism, And Population Dynamics," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 365-397, June.
    6. Luciano, Fanti & Luca, Gori & Cristiana, Mammana & Elisabetta, Michetti, 2016. "Complex dynamics in an OLG model of growth with inherited tastes," MPRA Paper 69906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Angelini, Viola, 2009. "Consumption and habit formation when time horizon is finite," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 113-116, May.
    8. Carlos Vargas-Silva, 2009. "Crime and Remittance Transfers," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 232-247.
    9. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballé, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2008. "Estate taxes, consumption externalities, and altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1751-1764, July.
    10. Jordi Caballé & Ana I. Moro-Egido, 2015. "On the Accumulation of Wealth under Aspirations," Working Papers 826, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    11. Luca Gori & Mauro Sodini, 2014. "Indeterminacy and nonlinear dynamics in an OLG growth model with endogenous labour supply and inherited tastes," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 37(1), pages 159-179, April.
    12. Luciano Fanti, 2012. "Habits, aspirations and endogenous fertility," Discussion Papers 2012/142, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    13. Barnett, Richard C. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2008. "Rejuveniles and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1055-1071, August.
    14. repec:eee:dyncon:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:144-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:kap:jeczfn:v:122:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00712-017-0537-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Garance Genicot & Debraj Ray, 2014. "Aspirations and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 19976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    aspirations; Habits; bequests;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy


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