Key Findings Details
Motives for Bequests within the Middle Class
John P. Laitner and Amanda Sonnega
- Using Health and Retirement Study data on the ratio of parent-to-child lifetime incomes, we analyze the motives behind bequests. We find support for an unintentional transfer model in which bequests arise from residual, unspent parent life-cycle resources.
- We find some evidence of altruistic bequest behavior, but the support seems limited.
- We show that our model can account for the frequency of dual inheritances that earlier work revealed.