NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

To Leave or Not To Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives

Wojciech Kopczuk, Joseph Lupton

NBER Working Paper No. 11767
Issued in November 2005
NBER Program(s):   AG   PE

In this paper, we examine the effect of observed and unobserved heterogeneity in the desire to die with positive net worth. Using a structural life-cycle model nested in a switching regression with unknown sample separation, we find that roughly three-fourths of the elderly single population has a bequest motive that may or may not have an appreciable effect on spending depending on the level of resources. Both the presence and the magnitude of the bequest motive are statistically and economically significant. On average, households with a bequest motive spend about 25 percent less on consumption expenditures. We conclude that, among the elderly single households in our sample, about four-fifths of their net wealth will be bequeathed and approximately half of this is due to a bequest motive.

download in pdf format
   (244 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11767

Published: Published in The Review of Economic Studies, 2007, 74(1), 207-235. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Hamilton w7755 What is an Oil Shock?
Barrow, Markman, and Rouse w14240 Technology's Edge: The Educational Benefits of Computer-Aided Instruction
Johnson w16664 Long-run Impacts of School Desegregation & School Quality on Adult Attainments
Borjas w6813 Immigration and Welfare Magnets
Bernheim w2942 How Strong are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us