Does the Source of Inheritance Matter in Bequest Attitudes? Evidence from Japan

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Abstract

Abstract: A better understanding of the reasons for bequests can be pivotal for fiscal policy and wealth inequality management, as the different motives underlying bequest behavior have varied implications. This study examines bloodline-based indirect reciprocity in bequest attitudes over three generations. In doing so, it extends the family tradition model to a bloodline-based family tradition model. This extended model suggests that the source of the inheritance impacts the amount of the bequest left to one’s children or spouse. To test the hypothesis, this study empirically analyzes survey data from the 2009 wave of the Preference Parameters Study for Japan. The results suggest that with some socioeconomic characteristics controlled for, those who have received an inheritance from their parents are more likely to intend to bequest as much as possible to their children, while Japanese females (males) who have received an inheritance from their spouse’s parents are more likely to intend to bequest as much as possible to both their children and their spouse (their spouse only). Hence, the source of the inheritance does matter in bequest attitudes, suggesting bloodline-based indirect reciprocity in bequest attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Bequest attitudes
  • Family tradition
  • Indirect reciprocity
  • Inheritance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics

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