Actual and Anticipated Inheritance Receipts

Posted: 3 Mar 2010

See all articles by Norma Coe

Norma Coe

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine

Anthony Webb

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, we compare actual inheritances received during the period 1994 to 2004 with the amounts that, in 1994, households anticipated receiving within 10 years. We find little evidence of systematic forecasting errors. The factors affecting inheritance receipt also affect expectation formation. Although the distribution is highly skewed, inheritances are generally modest in amount and uncorrelated with lifetime income, and therefore have almost no effect on various measures of inequality. We find no evidence that households anticipating receipt of an inheritance save less than that of similar households, although this could reflect unobserved heterogeneity in tastes for saving.

Suggested Citation

Coe, Norma and Webb, Anthony, Actual and Anticipated Inheritance Receipts (December 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1553269

Norma Coe (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine ( email )

423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Anthony Webb

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Fulton Hall 550
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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