NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Simon Halphen Boserup

Department of Economics
University of Copenhagen
Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 5
Building 26
DK-1353 Copenhagen K
Denmark

E-Mail: shb@econ.ku.dk

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2016Born with a Silver Spoon? Danish Evidence on Wealth Inequality in Childhood
with Wojciech Kopczuk, Claus Thustrup Kreiner: w22549
We study wealth inequality in childhood using Danish wealth records from three decades. While teenagers have some earnings, we estimate that transfers account for at least 50 percent of wealth at age 18, and much more so for the rich children. Inheritance from grandparents does not appear quantitatively important, but we do find evidence that children receive inter vivos transfers. While wealth holdings are small in childhood, they have strong predictive power for future wealth in adulthood. Asset holdings at age 18 are more informative than parental wealth in predicting wealth of children many years later when they are in their 40s. Hence, childhood wealth reveals significant heterogeneity in the intergenerational transmission of wealth, which is not simply captured by parental wealth alo...
January 2016The Role of Bequests in Shaping Wealth Inequality: Evidence from Danish Wealth Records
with Wojciech Kopczuk, Claus T. Kreiner: w21896
Using Danish administrative data, we estimate the impact of bequests on the level and inequality of wealth. We employ an event study design where we follow the distribution of wealth over time of people who are 45-50 years old, and divide them into treatment group and control group depending on whether a parent dies or not. Bequests account for 26 percent of the average post-bequest wealth 1-3 years after parental death and significantly affect wealth throughout the distribution. We find that bequests increase measures of absolute wealth inequality (variance), but reduce relative inequality (top wealth shares). Following the receipt of bequests, variance of the distribution censored at the top/bottom 1% increases by 33 percent, but the top 1% share declines by 6 percentage points from an i...

Published: Simon H. Boserup & Wojciech Kopczuk & Claus T. Kreiner, 2016. "The Role of Bequests in Shaping Wealth Inequality: Evidence from Danish Wealth Records," American Economic Review, vol 106(5), pages 656-661. citation courtesy of

 
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