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Parents' Desire to Make Equal Inter Vivos Transfers

  • Elin Halvorsen
  • Thor Olav Thoresen
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    This study argues that parents have a desire for dividing equally between their children, and that this motive applies to transfers of gifts inter vivos. We suggest that the equal division motive competes with traditional altruism: support to the child or the children with greatest needs. When parents are drawn between these two ambitions, the degree of income compensation should be stronger in one-child families and we expect the altruism motive to dominate the equal division desire at low levels of recipients’ income. We find support for both these hypotheses, when analysing Norwegian data for inter vivos transfers behaviour. The data include information about stated attitudes towards transfers among the parents, which also support the equal division motive.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-11/cesifo1_wp2468.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2468.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2468
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    7. Kathleen McGarry, 2000. "Testing Parental Altruism: Implications of a Dynamic Model," NBER Working Papers 7593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Arrondel, Luc & Laferrere, Anne, 2001. "Taxation and wealth transmission in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 3-33, January.
    12. Donald Cox & Bruce E. Hansen & Emmanuel Jimenez, 1997. "How Responsive are Private Transfers to Income? Evidence from a Laissez-Faire Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 341., Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Dec 1999.
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    21. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sergei Severinov, 2000. "Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 7791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    24. Pierre Pestieau, 2002. "The Role of Gift and Estate Transfers in the United States and in Europe," CREPP Working Papers 0202, Centre de Recherche en Economie Publique et de la Population (CREPP) (Research Center on Public and Population Economics) HEC-Management School, University of Liège.
    25. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
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    27. Dunn, Thomas A. & Phillips, John W., 1997. "The timing and division of parental transfers to children," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 135-137, February.
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    29. Poterba, James, 2001. "Estate and gift taxes and incentives for inter vivos giving in the US," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 237-264, January.
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