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

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Elin Halvorsen & Thor O. Thoresen, 2005. "The relationship between altruism and equal sharing. Evidence from inter vivos transfer behavior," Discussion Papers 439, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:439
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    File URL: https://www.ssb.no/a/publikasjoner/pdf/DP/dp439.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Lemke, Robert J. & Scholz, John Karl, 2004. "Do estate and gift taxes affect the timing of private transfers?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2617-2634, December.
    2. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    4. 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.
    5. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 151-182, July.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 1121-1166, December.
    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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    Cited by:

    1. Fevang, Elisabeth & Kverndokk, Snorre & Røed, Knut, 2008. "Informal Care and Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 3717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inter vivos gifts; altruism; equal sharing; compensatory transfer;

    JEL classification:

    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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