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The division of inter-vivos parental transfers in Europe

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  • Javier Olivera Angulo

Abstract

This paper explores the patterns of the division of inter-vivos financial transfers from old parents to adult children in a sample of 14 European countries drawn from two waves of the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe. Contrary to previous research mostly focused in US, this study finds a higher frequency of parents that equally divide their financial transfers among their adult children. On average, 36% of European parents divide equally. These results sharply contrast with approximately 6.4%-9.2% of American parents that divide equally. It is possible that altruistic parents are also concerned with a norm of equal division, and therefore they do not fully offset the differences of income among their children as predicted by the standard model of altruism. The econometric results show that parents are more likely to give equal transfers if, in their view, income inequality among their children is not too high. Furthermore, the analysis is extended by adding variables at the country level. In this regard, income inequality, pension expenditures, the societal level of altruism and inheritance taxes are key to explain country differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier Olivera Angulo, 2016. "The division of inter-vivos parental transfers in Europe," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven 528961, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:528961
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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