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The relationship between altruism and equal sharing. Evidence from inter vivos transfer behavior

Several studies reject the implications of the altruism model. In this study it is argued that parents who transfer resources to their children both are altruistic and influenced by an equal division fairness norm. Under such motives, the degree of income compensation should be stronger in one-child families and we expect the altruism motive to dominate the fairness norm when income differences between siblings are large. The results suggest that equal divisions are intentional and weighted against altruistic motives.

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Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 439.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:439
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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence Kotlikoff, . "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," IPR working papers 95-22, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  2. 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 706-32, August.
  3. Audrey Light & Kathleen McGarry, 2004. "Why Parents Play Favorites: Explanations for Unequal Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1669-1681, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Robert J. Lemke & John Karl Scholz, 2001. "Do Estate and Gift Taxes Affect the Timing of Private Transfers?," NBER Working Papers 8333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Joel Slemrod & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2000. "The Impact of the Estate Tax on the Wealth Accumulation and Avoidance Behavior of Donors," NBER Working Papers 7960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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