Intergenerational Transfers in the Health and Retirement Study Data

TitleIntergenerational Transfers in the Health and Retirement Study Data
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLaitner, J, Sonnega, A, Michigan Retirement Research Center
Series TitleMRDRC Publications
Document NumberWP 2010-238
InstitutionMichigan Retirement and Disability Research Center, University of Michigan
CityAnn Arbor, MI
KeywordsAdult children, Event History/Life Cycle

Many economic analyses of public policy issues are based upon the life-cycle model of household behavior. The usual formulation omits private intergenerational transfers. This paper considers the possibility of a more sophisticated formulation that includes the latter. We examine 1992-2008 HRS data on inheritances and inter vivos gifts. We uncover an underreporting problem in the data: a household s financial respondent often seems to understate transfers from his/her in-laws. Nevertheless, other aspects of the data seem very useful. About 30-40 percent of households eventually inherit. Inheritances seem to reflect a mixture of intentional and accidental bequests, with the latter twice as prevalent.

Endnote Keywords

life-Cycle/household behavior/Transfers/Inheritance/Inter Vivos Transfers

Endnote ID


Citation Key5800