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Tax incentives, bequest motives and the demand for life insurance: evidence from Germany

  • Walliser, Jan

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Winter, Joachim


    (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

Life insurance, in particular whole life insurance, plays an important role for private saving in Germany. Whole life insurance combines the insurance against uncertain death with a savings plan. Accordingly, a stylized model of life-cycle behavior would predict that whole life insurance purchases respond to both bequest motives and the tax advantages of life insurance compared with other forms of saving. Using data from the German Consumer Expenditure Survey (EVS), the paper shows that tax advantages and bequest motives indeed have an important impact on life insurance demand in Germany, if the empirical specification explicitly recognizes the censoring of life insurance face values.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 99-28.

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Length: 0 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:99-28
Note: Financial Support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504 at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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  1. Lewis, Frank D, 1989. "Dependents and the Demand for Life Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 452-67, June.
  2. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1989. "How Strong are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," NBER Working Papers 2942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fischer, Stanley, 1973. "A Life Cycle Model of Life Insurance Purchases," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(1), pages 132-52, February.
  4. Powell, James L., 1984. "Least absolute deviations estimation for the censored regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-325, July.
  5. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
  6. David F. Babbel and Eisaku Ohtsuka., 1985. "Aspects of Optimal Multiperiod Life Insurance," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 156, University of California at Berkeley.
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