The Nature of Two-directional Intergenerational Transfers of Money and Time: An Empirical Analysis

  • Yannis M. Ioannides
  • Kamhon Kan
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


Since the 1970s, resource transfers among family members and across generations have been paid particular attention by economists. This has, in part, been motivated by the difficulty the life-cycle permanent income theory has faced in explaining the saving behaviour of households (Menchik and David, 1983; King, 1985; Kotlikoff, 1987; Hayashi, Ando and Ferris, 1988; and Hurd, 1987, 1989, 1990). Intergenerational transfers of resources have been found to play an important role in capital accumulation and distribution of income (Kotlikoff and Summers, 1981, 1988; and Gale and Scholz, 1994), and in consumption smoothing (Kan, 1996).


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, J. D. (1980) ‘Personal Wealth Transfers’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 95(August), pp. 159–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Altonji, J. G., Hayashi F. and Kotlikoff, L. (1992) ‘The Effects of Income and Wealth on Time and Money Transfers between Parents and Children’, mimeo, Northwestern University, USA.Google Scholar
  3. Altonji, J. G, Hayashi, F. and Kotlikoff, L. (1995) ‘Parental Altruism and Intervivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence’, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development, No. 65, Boston.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Becker, G. S. (1981) A Treatise on the Family, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bernheim B. D., Shleifer, A. and Summers, L. (1985). ‘The Strategic Bequest Motive’, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 93, no. 6, pp. 1045–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blanchard, O.J. and Fischer, S. (1989) Lectures on Macroeconomics, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cox, D. (1987) ‘The Motives for Private Income Transfers’, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 95, no. 3, pp. 508–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cox, D. (1990) ‘Intergenerational Transfers and Liquidity Constraints’, Quarterly Journal of Economics (February), pp. 187–218.Google Scholar
  9. Cox, D., and Raines, F. (1985), ‘Interfamily Transfers and Income Redistribution’, In David Morten, and Timothy Smeeding, (eds), Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Measures of Weil-Being, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 393–421.Google Scholar
  10. Cox, D. and Rank, M. R. (1992) ‘Inter Vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange’, Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 74, no. 2 (May), pp. 305–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cremer, H., Kessler, D. and Pestieau, P. (1992) ‘Intergenerational Transfers within the Family’, European Economic Review, vol. 36, pp. 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gale, W., and Scholz, J. K. (1994) ‘Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth,’ Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 145–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grossman, H. I. (1982) ‘Familial Love and Intertemporal Optimality’, Working Paper, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.Google Scholar
  14. Hayashi, F., Altonji, J. and Kotlikoff, L. (1991) ‘Risk-Sharing, Altruism, and The Factor Structure of Consumption’, NBER Working Paper No. 3834 (September).Google Scholar
  15. Hayashi, F., Ando, A. and Ferris, R. (1990) ‘Life Cycle and Bequest Savings: A Study of Japanese and US Households Based on Data from the 1984 NSFIE and the 1983 Survey of Consumer Finances’, Journal of the Japanese and International Economy, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 450–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hurd, M. (1987) ‘The Importance of Gifts and Inheritances among the Affluent’, NBER Working Paper No. 2415 (October).Google Scholar
  17. Hurd, M. (1989) ‘Issues and Results from Research on the Elderly’, NBER Working Paper No. 3018 (June).Google Scholar
  18. Hurd, M. (1990) ‘Wealth Depletion and Life Cycle Consumption by the Elderly’, NBER Working Paper No. 3472 (October).Google Scholar
  19. Kan, K. (1996) ‘Empirical Evidence on Consumption Smoothing and Intergenerational Transfers’, Southern Economic Journal, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 76–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kimball, M. S. (1987) ‘Making Sense of Two-Sided Altruism’, Journal of Monetary Economics, vol. 20, pp. 301–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. King, M. (1985) ‘The Economics of Savings: A Survey of Recent Contributions’, in K. Arrow and S. Honkapohja (eds), Frontiers of Economics, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp. 227–327.Google Scholar
  22. Kotlikoff, L. J. (1987) ‘Intergenerational Transfers and Savings’, NBER Working Paper No. 2237 (May).Google Scholar
  23. Kotlikoff, L. J. and Summers, L. (1981) ‘The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation’, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 89, no. 4, pp. 706–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kotlikoff, L. J. and Summers, L. (1988) ‘The Contribution of Intergenerational Transfers to Total Wealth: Reply’, in Denis Kessler and André Masson (eds), Modelling the Accumulation and Distribution of Wealth, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 53–67.Google Scholar
  25. Kurz, M. (1984) ‘Capital Accumulation and the Characteristics of Private Intergenerational Transfers’, Economica, vol. 51 (February), pp. 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McGarry, K. and Schoeni, R. F. (1994) ‘Transfer Behavior: Measurement and the Redistribution of Resources Within the Family’, NBER Working Paper, No. 4607.Google Scholar
  27. Menchik, P. L. (1980) ‘Primogeniture, Equal Sharing and the US Distribution of Wealth’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 94, pp. 299–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Menchik, P. L. (1988) ‘Unequal Estate Division: Is It Altruism, Reverse Bequests, or Simply Noise?’, in D. Kessler and A. Masson (eds), Modelling the Accumulation and Distribution of Wealth, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 105–16.Google Scholar
  29. Menchik, P. and David, M. (1983) ‘Income Distribution, Lifetime Savings, and Bequests’, American Economic Review, vol. 73, no. 4 (September), pp. 672–90.Google Scholar
  30. Pollack, H. (1993) ‘Informal Economic Transfers in Families: Theory and Evidence’, mimeo, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  31. Schoeni, R. F. (1993) ‘Private Interhousehold Transfers of Money and Time: New Empirical Evidence’, RAND, Labor and Population Program Working Paper Series No. 93-26.Google Scholar
  32. Tomes, N. (1981) ‘The Family, Inheritance, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality’, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 89, pp. 928–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tomes, N. (1988) ‘Inheritance and Inequality within the Family: Equal Division among Unequals, or Do the Poor Get More?’, in D. Kessler and A. Masson (eds), Modelling the Accumulation and Distribution of Wealth, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 79–104.Google Scholar
  34. Wilhelm, M. O. (1990) ‘Bequest Behavior and the Effect of Heirs’ Earnings: Testing the Altruistic Models of Bequests’, mimeo, Pennsylvania State University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Economic Association 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yannis M. Ioannides
    • 1
  • Kamhon Kan
    • 2
  1. 1.Tufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  2. 2.Institute of EconomicsAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan

Personalised recommendations