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Estate division: equal sharing, exchange motives, and Cinderella effects

Oscar Erixson and Henry Ohlsson ()

Journal of Population Economics, 2019, vol. 32, issue 4, No 10, 1437-1480

Abstract: Abstract This study contributes to the empirical literature testing bequest motives by using a population-wide administrative dataset, covering data on inherited amounts for complete families matched with an extensive set of economic and demographic variables, to estimate the influence of child characteristics on differences in inherited amounts among siblings. Our main findings are, first, children who are more likely to have provided services to the parent receive more than their siblings, as predicted by the exchange model. Second, daughters with children receive more than sons with children. This is consistent with the prediction of the evolutionary model that larger investments should go to offspring who are certain to be genetically related. There are also Cinderella effects—that is, adopted stepchildren receive less than siblings who are biological or children who are adopted by both parents. Third, we do not find support for the prediction of the altruism model that bequests are compensatory.

Keywords: Estate division; Equal sharing; Exchange motives; Adopted children (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D14 D64 H24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s00148-018-0727-7

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