Do Bequests Increase or Decrease Wealth Inequalities?
This paper finds that individuals in Japan do not leave very significant bequests, that parents often require a quid pro quo for bequests to their children, and that wealthier individuals leave less bequests, meaning that bequests ameliorate wealth inequalities.
I am indebted to the Institute for Research on Household Economics for conducting the survey used in this paper and for granting me permission to use these data, to Tae Okada for capable research assistance, to Wataru Kureishi, Keiko Murata, Kazuyasu Sakamoto, Sawako Shirahase, and Midori Wakabayashi for helpful comments, and to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of the Japanese Government for Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research Category B (topic number 18330068) and Category S (topic number 20223004), which supported this research. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2009. "Do bequests increase or decrease wealth inequalities?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 23-25, April. citation courtesy of