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Schenkungen und Erbschaften im Lebenslauf: vergleichende Längsschnittanalysen zu intergenerationalen Transfers

  • Thomas Leopold
  • Thorsten Schneider
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    The research on private financial transfers between generations lacks a longitudinal perspective. Gifts as intergenerational transfers inter vivos allow us to study the importance of life course events for the chances of receiving transfers. In Germany, gifts are highly private and leave more scope for decision-making than the regulated bequests. Thus, gifts are better suited to test theories on family solidarity and transfer behavior. Our analysis focuses on larger transmissions, which parents and grandparents give to their descendents. Bequests provide a comparative reference to highlight similarities and differences between transfers inter vivos and mortis causa. In our account, gift-giving is purposive action driven primarily by economic needs of the receivers, but also by non-material aspects of family ties. Bequeathing is characterized as behavior which is not necessarily purposive and highly restricted by normative and legal obligations. Hypotheses for both types of transfers are tested with retrospective data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). We use event history models to study the effects of changes in the life course on the chances of receiving transfers. Increased chances to receive a large gift occur in the first years after marriage and also immediately after divorce. Women are clearly disadvantaged as their chances to receive a gift and the transfer amounts are considerably lower. In low status families, large transfers inter vivos are a rare event. If they occur, these gifts often replace bequests. In high status families, gifts are transferred more frequently, and often as a complement to subsequent bequests.

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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 234.

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    Length: 40 p.
    Date of creation: 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp234
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    1. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S151-82, July.
    2. Harald Künemund & Andreas Motel-Klingebiel & Martin Kohli, 2005. "Do Intergenerational Transfers From Elderly Parents Increase Social Inequality Among Their Middle-Aged Children? Evidence from the German Aging Survey," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 60(1), pages S30-S36.
    3. Lundholm, M. & Ohlsson, H., 1999. "Post Mortem Reputation, Compensatory Gifts and Equal Bequests," Papers 1999:3, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    4. Modigliani, Franco, 1988. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers and Life Cycle Saving in the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 15-40, Spring.
    5. Patrick Royston, 2005. "Multiple imputation of missing values: Update of ice," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(4), pages 527-536, December.
    6. Arrondel, L. & Masson, A. & Pestieau, P., 1996. "Bequest and inheritance: empirical issues and France-U.S. comparison," DELTA Working Papers 96-19, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    7. McGarry, Kathleen, 1999. "Inter vivos transfers and intended bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 321-351, September.
    8. Patrick Royston, 2005. "MICE for multiple imputation of missing values," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2005 02, Stata Users Group.
    9. Patrick Royston, 2005. "Multiple imputation of missing values: update," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(2), pages 188-201, June.
    10. Elke Holst & Mechthild Schrooten, 2007. "Migration und Geld: Überweisungen aus Deutschland ins Heimatland erheblich," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 74(19), pages 309-315.
    11. Carmen Diana Deere & Cheryl Doss, 2006. "The Gender Asset Gap: What Do We Know And Why Does It Matter?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1-2), pages 1-50.
    12. SOEP Group, 2001. "The German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) after More than 15 Years: Overview," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(1), pages 7-14.
    13. Arrondel, L. & Masson, A., 1999. "Family Transfers Involving Three Generations," DELTA Working Papers 1999-16, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    14. Ganzeboom, H.B.G. & de Graaf, P.M. & Treiman, D.J. & de Leeuw, J., 1992. "A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status," WORC Paper 85970031-d601-46e3-befb-1, Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre.
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