NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Specification of the Joy of Giving: Insights from Altruism

Andrew B. Abel, Mark Warshawsky

NBER Working Paper No. 2154
Issued in 1987
NBER Program(s):   ME

This paper analyzes the joy of giving bequest motive in which the utility obtained from leaving a bequest depends only on the size of the bequest. It exploits the fact that this formulation can be interpreted as a reduced form of an altruistic bequest motive to derive a relation between the value of the altruism parameter and the value of the joy of giving parameter. Using previous discussions of an a priori range of plausible values for the altruism parameter we then derive plausible restrictions on the joy of giving parameter. We demonstrate that this parameter may well be orders of magnitude larger than assumed in the existing literature.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w2154

Published: Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 70, No. 1, February 1988, pp. 145- 149.

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