Charity and the bequests motive: evidence from seventeenth century wills
This paper researches the motivations for charitable bequests by looking at gifts to the poor in the wills of 1357 testators who died in Suffolk, England in the 1620's and 1630's. I find that wealth, religiosity, and the presence of family and friends influence testator generosity. The finding that wealthier, more religious individuals, and those with fewer children give more to the poor support an altruistic model of testator utility. However, the finding that individuals who give to more people outside of their immediate families are more likely to give to the poor contradicts the simple altruism model. This result is shown to be consistent with a model that suggests that charitable giving is partly driven by the approbation friends and families grant charitable behavior.
|Date of creation:||1998|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O. Box 834, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-0834|
Web page: http://www.chicagofed.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/publications/print_publication_order_form.cfm Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Boskin, Michael J., 1976. "Estate taxation and charitable bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 27-56.
- 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.
- Hurd, Michael D, 1987. "Savings of the Elderly and Desired Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 298-312, June.
- Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
- Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"A Theory of Social Interactions,"
NBER Working Papers
0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Auten, Gerald & Joulfaian, David, 1996. "Charitable contributions and intergenerational transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 55-68, January.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989.
"Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data,"
NBER Working Papers
3046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-98, December.
- Joulfaian, David, 1991. "Charitable Bequests and Estate Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(2), pages 169-80, June.
- Paul L. Menchik, 1980. "Primogeniture, Equal Sharing, and the U.S. Distribution of Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 299-316.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-98-25. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bernie Flores)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.