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Tax incentives, bequest motives and the demand for life insurance : evidence from Germany

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  • Walliser, Jan
  • Winter, Joachim

Abstract

Life insurance, in particular whole life insurance, plays an important role for private saving in Germany. Whole life insurance combines the insurance against uncertain death with a savings plan. Accordingly, a stylized model of life-cycle behavior would predict that whole life insurance purchases respond to both bequest motives and the tax advantages of life insurance compared with other forms of saving. Using data from the German Consumer Expenditure Survey (EVS), the paper shows that tax advantages and bequest motives indeed have an important impact on life insurance demand in Germany, if the empirical specification explicitly recognizes the censoring of life insurance face values.

Suggested Citation

  • Walliser, Jan & Winter, Joachim, 1998. "Tax incentives, bequest motives and the demand for life insurance : evidence from Germany," Papers 99-28, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
  • Handle: RePEc:mnh:spaper:2855
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    File URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/2855/1/dp99_28.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "How Strong Are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 899-927, October.
    2. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    3. Powell, James L., 1984. "Least absolute deviations estimation for the censored regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-325, July.
    4. Fischer, Stanley, 1973. "A Life Cycle Model of Life Insurance Purchases," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(1), pages 132-152, February.
    5. David F. Babbel and Eisaku Ohtsuka., 1985. "Aspects of Optimal Multiperiod Life Insurance," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 156, University of California at Berkeley.
    6. Lewis, Frank D, 1989. "Dependents and the Demand for Life Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 452-467, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2000. "Household Savings in Germany," Discussion Papers 577, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    2. Borsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2001. "The German Savings Puzzle," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 15-38, March.
    3. Xi Wu & Li Gan, 2013. "Multiple Dimensions of Private Information in Life Insurance Markets," NBER Working Papers 19629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ernesto Villanueva, 2005. "Inter vivos transfers and bequests in three OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(43), pages 505-565, July.
    5. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2005. "Risiken im Lebenszyklus: Theorie und Evidenz," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(4), pages 449-469, November.
    6. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Lührmann, Melanie, 2000. "Prinzipien der Renten- und Pensionsbesteuerung," Discussion Papers 584, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    7. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Eymann, Angelika, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Germany," Discussion Papers 603, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    8. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2001. "Blaupause für eine nachhaltige Rentenreform in Deutschland," Discussion Papers 599, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    9. Axel Börsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Ralf Rodepeter & Reinhold Schnabel & University of Mannheim & Germany, 2000. "Household Savings in Germany," Macroeconomics 0004053, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Lothar Essig, 2005. "Household Saving in Germany: Results from SAVE 2001-2003," MEA discussion paper series 05083, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    11. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2002. "A Blue Print For Germany’s Pension Reform," MEA discussion paper series 02002, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    12. Sergey Sinelnikov & Pavel Kadochnikov & Ilya Trunin & Sergey Chetverikov & Marianne Vigneault, 2006. "Fiscal Federalism in Russia: Soft Budget Constraints of Regional Governments," Published Papers 47, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2012.
    13. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2000. "Was lehrt uns die Empirie in Sachen Rentenreform?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 431-451, November.
    14. Sergey Sinelnikov & Pavel Kadochnikov & Ilya Trunin (ed.), 2006. "Fiscal Federalism in Russia: Soft Budget Constraints of Regional Governments," Books, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, edition 1, number 4.
    15. Lothar Essig, 2005. "Measures for savings and saving rates in the German SAVE data set," MEA discussion paper series 05086, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    savings ; life insurance ; bequests;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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