Dynamic Aspects of Family Transfers
Each year parents transfer a great deal of money to their adult children. While intuition might suggest that these transfers are altruistic and made out of concern for the well-being of the children, empirical tests of the model have consistently yielded negative results. However, an important limitation in these sorts of studies and of our understanding of transfers in general has stemmed our inability to observe transfers over time. Estimates of patterns in a single cross section necessarily miss important aspects of behavior. In this paper I expand on the static altruistic model and posit a dynamic model in which parents use current observations on the incomes of their children to update their expectations regarding future incomes and desired future transfers. I then draw on data spanning a 17 year period to examine the dynamic aspects of transfer behavior. I find substantial change across periods in recipiency, large differences across children within the family, and a strong negative correlation between inter vivos transfers and the transitory incomes of the recipients. This evidence suggests that dynamic models can provide insights into transfer behavior that are impossible to obtain in a static context.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||AG LS PE|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Cox, Donald, 1990. "Intergenerational Transfers and Liquidity Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 187-217, February.
- Cox, Donald & Jappelli, Tullio, 1990. "Credit Rationing and Private Transfers: Evidence from Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 445-54, August.
- Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-77, June.
- Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1995. "Erratum [Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange]," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 569, August.
- Kathleen McGarry, 2000. "Testing Parental Altruism: Implications of a Dynamic Model," NBER Working Papers 7593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18446. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.