Inter-Vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange

Cox, D. and Rank, M.R. (1992) Inter-Vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 74 (2). pp. 305-314.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to ICRISAT researchers only


The surge of interest in intergenerational transfers in the past decade has sparked a debate over the motivation for them. Are transfers given out of altruism or part of an exchange? While each motive is probably at work to some extent, we know little about whether one motive predominates. The question is relevant for issues concerning public income redistribution and inequality in the family but despite its importance, empirical evidence about motives is scarce because of limited data. We investigate a new data set, the National Survey of Families and Households, which remedies many of the shortcomings of other data sets containing private transfer information. We find that empirical patterns for inter-vivos transfers (i.e., transfers between living persons) are more consistent with exchange than altruism.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Financial support from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (RO1-HD26126) is gratefully acknowledged. The data set used in this paper, the National Survey of Families and Households, was funded by a grant (HD21009) from the Center for Population Research of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The survey was designed and carried out at the Center for Demography and Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the direction of Larry Bumpass and James Sweet. The field work was done by the Institute for Survey Research at Temple University.
Author Affiliation: Boston College and Washington University
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2014 07:42
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2014 07:42
Official URL:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item