NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Is a Bird in Hand Worth More than a Bird in the Bush? Intergenerational Transfers and Savings Behavior

Jeffrey R. Brown, Scott J. Weisbenner

NBER Working Paper No. 8753
Issued in January 2002
NBER Program(s):   AG   PE

This paper provides new evidence on the decomposition of aggregate household wealth into life-cycle and transfer wealth. Using the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances, it finds that transfer wealth accounts for approximately one-fifth to one-quarter of aggregate wealth, suggesting a larger role for life-cycle savings than some previous estimates. Despite the smaller aggregate size of transfer wealth, its concentration among a small number of households suggests that it can still have an important effect on the savings decisions of recipients. Estimates suggest that past receipts of transfer wealth reduce life-cycle savings by as much as dollar-for-dollar, while expected future transfers do not produce such a crowd-out effect.

download in pdf format
   (270 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.

This paper is available as PDF (270 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8753

Published: Wise, D. (ed.) Perspectives on the Economics of Aging. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Brown and Weisbenner Intergenerational Transfers and Savings Behavior
Case and Paxson w15000 The Impact of the AIDS Pandemic on Health Services in Africa: Evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys
Hurd and Smith w9142 Expected Bequests and Their Distribution
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us