How Inheriting Affects Bequest Plans

59 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2015

See all articles by Oded Stark

Oded Stark

University of Bonn; University of Warsaw; University of Tuebingen; Georgetown University

Anna Nicinska

University of Warsaw

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2015


We present and test the idea that bequest planning is linked with the experience of inheriting. We consider “a family tradition of bequeathing” as a channel through which the intention to bequeath is molded by and is positively correlated with the experience of inheriting. We use data from the Survey on Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to test whether, other things held constant, inheriting has a positive influence on the intention to bequeath. We find that the experience of inheriting enhances the intension to bequeath as predicted by the family tradition model, independently of the positive impact of wealth. We also find that the expectation of inheriting has a positive impact on the intention to bequeath, controlling for the expected increase in wealth on account of future inheritances. Apparently, it is not the financial means that inheritance provides which account for its impact on the intention to bequeath; it is rather the family tradition of bequeathing instilled through inheriting.

Keywords: Intergenerational transfers; Bequest behavior; Experience of inheriting; Expectation of inheriting; Intention to bequeath; Family tradition

JEL Classification: D02, D03, D19, D64, H31

Suggested Citation

Stark, Oded and Nicinska, Anna, How Inheriting Affects Bequest Plans (August 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Oded Stark (Contact Author)

University of Bonn ( email )

Walter-Flex-Str. 3
Bonn, NRW 53113

University of Warsaw ( email )

Dluga Street 44/50
Warsaw, 00-241

University of Tuebingen

Wilhelmstr. 19
Tuebingen, Baden Wuerttemberg 72074

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Anna Nicinska

University of Warsaw ( email )

Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28
Warszawa, Pl-00681

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