Expected Bequests and their Distribution

TitleExpected Bequests and their Distribution
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsHurd, MD, Smith, JP
InstitutionNational Bureau of Economic Research
Call Numberwp_2002/Hurd-Smith.pdf
KeywordsAdult children, Consumption and Savings

Based on a sample of actual bequests that is population-representative and on the subjective probability of bequests, we estimate the distribution of bequests that the older population will make. We find that the distribution is highly skewed, so that the typical baby-boom person will receive a very modest inheritance. This is partly due to the skewed distribution of wealth and partly due to the tendency of the wealthy to have fewer children. But it is also due to anticipated dissaving: we estimate that households in the age band 70-74 will bequeath just 39 of their wealth, consuming the rest before they die.


National Institute on Aging

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Citation Key5516