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Do Bequests Increase or Decrease Wealth Inequalities?

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  • Charles Yuji Horioka

Abstract

This paper finds that individuals in Japan do not leave very significant bequests, that parents often require a quid pro quo for bequests to their children, and that wealthier individuals leave less bequests, meaning that bequests ameliorate wealth inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Yuji Horioka, 2009. "Do Bequests Increase or Decrease Wealth Inequalities?," NBER Working Papers 14639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14639 Note: AG EFG PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. C. Y. Horioka & H. Fujisaki & W. Watanabe & T. Kouno, 2000. "Are Americans More Altruistic than the Japanese? A U.S.-Japan Comparison of Saving and Bequest Motives," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 1-31.
    3. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2002. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic or Dynastic?," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 53(1), pages 26-54.
    4. Wakabayashi, Midori & Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2009. "Is the eldest son different? The residential choice of siblings in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 337-348, December.
    5. Thomas A. Barthold & Takatoshi Ito, 1992. "Bequest Taxes and Accumulation of Household Wealth: U.S.-Japan Comparison," NBER Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Tax Reform, NBER-EASE Volume 1, pages 235-292 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David Campbell, 1997. "Transfer and Life-cycle Wealth in Japan, 1974–1984," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 410-423, December.
    7. Horioka, C.Y., 1991. "Saving in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0248, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    8. Fumio Hayashi, 1986. "Why Is Japan's Saving Rate So Apparently High?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 147-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
    10. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1988. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 41-58, Spring.
    11. Hayashi, Fumio, 1995. "Is the Japanese Extended Family Altruistically Linked? A Test Based on Engel Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 661-674, June.
    12. Dekle, Robert, 1989. "The unimportance of intergenerational transfers in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 403-413, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elinder, Mikael & Erixson, Oscar & Waldenström, Daniel, 2015. "Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2015:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Elinder Mikael & Erixson Oscar & Ohlsson Henry, 2012. "The Impact of Inheritances on Heirs' Labor and Capital Income," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-37, December.
    3. repec:red:issued:14-279 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:cep:sticas:/148 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Beck Hanno & Prinz Aloys, 2014. "Willkommen in Schumpeters Hotel: Zur Dynamik der Vermögensverteilung / Welcome to Schumpeter's hotel – On the dynamics of the distribution of wealth," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 65(1), pages 263-278, January.
    6. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2016. "Are the Japanese Unique? Evidence from Household Saving and Bequest Behavior," ISER Discussion Paper 0973, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    7. Charles Yuji Horioka & Emin Gahramanov & Aziz Hayat & Xueli Tang, 2016. "Why Do Children Take Care of Their Elderly Parents? Are the Japanese Any Different?," ISER Discussion Paper 0970, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    8. Karagiannaki, Eleni, 2011. "The impact of inheritance on the distribution of wealth: evidence from the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 43895, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Erixson, Oscar & Ohlsson, Henry, 2014. "Estate division: Equal sharing as choice, social norm, and legal requirement," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2014:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    10. Charles Horioka, 2014. "Are Americans and Indians more altruistic than the Japanese and Chinese? Evidence from a new international survey of bequest plans," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 411-437, September.
    11. Elinder, Mikael & Erixson, Oscar & Escobar, Sebastian & Ohlsson, Henry, 2014. "Estates, bequests, and inheritances in Sweden - A look into the Belinda databases," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2014:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    12. Ramon L. Clarete & Ernesto M. Pernia & Ammielou Gaduena & Adrian Mendoza, 2014. "The Role of Science, Technology and Research in Economic Development," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 201407, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
    13. Junya Hamaaki & Masahiro Hori & Keiko Murata, 2014. "Intergenerational Transfers and Asset Inequality in Japan: Empirical Evidence from New Survey Data," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 41-62, March.
    14. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2014. "Why Do People Leave Bequests? For Love or Self-Interest? Evidence from a New International Survey of Bequest Plans," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 201406, University of the Philippines School of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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