Gender Differences in Inter Vivos Transfers


25 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2019

See all articles by Abigail Loxton

Abigail Loxton

Indiana University, Bloomington

Date Written: February 20, 2019


To what extent do parents exhibit preferential treatment for one gender with respect to financial gifts to children? Using the Health and Retirement Study from 1992-2014, I estimate differences in the frequency and magnitude of gifts to sons and daughters. Conditional on a transfer, there is no evidence of differences in amounts between sons and daughters. However parents give to daughters at higher rates. I explore potential mechanisms for this disparity: in particular, I address the altruism and exchange motives for inter vivos transfers. I find that the difference in giving rates is partially explained by higher expected rates of future care from daughters. Even after controlling for discrepancy in care-taking, income levels, and other observable characteristics, parents are still 10-20% more likely to give a transfer to their daughters. The discrepancy in giving rates is driven by unmarried children: once daughters marry they are less likely to receive a transfer.

Keywords: inter vivos transfers, gender differences, altruism, informal care

JEL Classification: D64, D15, J14, J16

Suggested Citation

Loxton, Abigail, Gender Differences in Inter Vivos Transfers (February 20, 2019). CAEPR WORKING PAPER SERIES 2019-002, Available at SSRN: or

Abigail Loxton (Contact Author)

Indiana University, Bloomington ( email )

Bloomington, IN
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics