IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Why Do People Leave Bequests? For Love or Self-Interest? Evidence from a New International Survey of Bequest Plans

  • Charles Yuji Horioka

    (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)

This paper discusses three alternative assumptions concerning household preferences (altruism, self-interest, and a desire for dynasty building) and shows that these assumptions have very different implications for bequest motives and bequest division. After reviewing some of the literature on actual bequests, bequest motives, and bequest division, the paper presents data on the strength of bequest motives, stated bequest motives, and bequest division plans from a new international survey conducted in China, India, Japan, and the United States. It finds striking inter-country differences in bequest plans, with the bequest plans of Americans and Indians appearing to be much more consistent with altruistic preferences than those of the Japanese and Chinese and the bequest plans of the Japanese and Chinese appearing to be much more consistent with selfish preferences than those of Americans and Indians. These findings have important implications for the efficacy and desirability of stimulative fiscal policies, public pensions, and inheritance taxes.

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.

File URL: http://www.econ.upd.edu.ph/dp/index.php/dp/article/view/1459
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of the Philippines School of Economics in its series UP School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 201406.

as
in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as UPSE Discussion Paper No. 2014-06 R, May 2014
Handle: RePEc:phs:dpaper:201406
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Diliman, Quezon City 1101

Phone: 927-9686
Web page: http://www.econ.upd.edu.ph/

More information through EDIRC

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.:

as in new window
  1. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-76, December.
  2. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. World Bank, 2013. "World Development Indicators 2013," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13191, June.
  5. Sankar Mukhopadhyay, 2011. "Religion, religiosity and educational attainment of immigrants to the USA," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 539-553, December.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, September.
  7. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  8. Stark, Oded, 1998. "Equal bequests and parental altruism: compatibility or orthogonality?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 167-171, August.
  9. Tomes, Nigel, 1981. "The Family, Inheritance, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 928-58, October.
  10. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1121-66, December.
  11. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1988. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 41-58, Spring.
  12. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2009. "Do Bequests Increase or Decrease Wealth Inequalities?," ISER Discussion Paper 0729, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  13. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2001. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic, or Dynastic?," ISER Discussion Paper 0556, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  14. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Avia Spivak, 1979. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," NBER Working Papers 0362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-14, May.
  16. Dunn, Thomas A. & Phillips, John W., 1997. "The timing and division of parental transfers to children," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 135-137, February.
  17. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sergei Severinov, 2003. "Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 733-764, August.
  18. Charlet Yuji Horioka, 2002. ""Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic, or Dynastic?" (in Japanese)," CIRJE J-Series CIRJE-J-70, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  19. Audrey Light & Kathleen McGarry, 2003. "Why Parents Play Favorites: Explanations for Unequal Bequests," NBER Working Papers 9745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Andrew B. Abel & Mark Warshawsky, . "Specification of the Joy of Giving: Insights from Altruism," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-87, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  21. Dekle, Robert, 1989. "The unimportance of intergenerational transfers in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 403-413, November.
  22. José Molina, 2013. "Altruism in the household: in kind transfers in the context of kin selection," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 309-312, September.
  23. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005, December.
  24. Horioka, C.Y. & Fujisaki, H. & Watanabe, W. & Kouno, T., 2000. "Are Americans more Altruistic than the Japanese Comparison of Saving and Bequest Motives," ISER Discussion Paper 0487, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  25. Kathleen McGarry, 1997. "Inter vivos Transfers and Intended Bequests," NBER Working Papers 6345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Ohtake, F., 1991. "Bequest Motives of Aged Households in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0249, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  27. 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.
  28. "Ohtake, Fumio", 1991. "Bequest Motive, Saving and Labor Supply of Aged Household in Japan ," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 42(1), pages 21-30, January.
  29. Evelyn Lehrer, 2004. "Religiosity as a Determinant of Educational Attainment: The Case of Conservative Protestant Women in the United States," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 203-219, 06.
  30. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:phs:dpaper:201406. 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: (Reuben T. Campos)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.