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Altruistic bequests and non-negative savings

  • Stéphane LAMBRECHT

    (Gremars and Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3, CORE)

This paper builds on the class of models studying the game interaction between an altruistic benefactor and a selfish recipient. An altruistic parent's bequest is transferred to his selfish son after the former's death and we assume that it is not a valid collateral for bank loans. This is equivalent to adding a non-negativity constraint on savings to the standard bequest model. A crucial mechanism at work is that the son's choice of a level of action can seriously dwarf his budget set. When Becker's resuit holds, the credit constraint places an upper bound on the strategie savings of the Samaritan's dilemma type. But the constraint on savings also causes the shrinkage of the validity domain of the Rotten Kid Theorem because it may lead both poor and rich heirs to behave unoptimally from the family point of view.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) with number 2003041.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2003041
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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bernheim, B Douglas & Stark, Oded, 1988. "Altruism within the Family Reconsidered: Do Nice Guys Finish Last?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1034-45, December.
  3. Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Altruism, the Samaritan's Dilemma, and Government Transfer Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 46-57, March.
  4. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-76, December.
  5. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
  6. Bruce, Neil & Waldman, Michael, 1990. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 155-65, February.
  7. Laitner, John, 1988. "Bequests, Gifts, and Social Security," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 275-99, April.
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