Gender Differences in Inter Vivos Transfers
CAEPR WORKING PAPER SERIES 2019-002
25 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2019
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: Suggested Citation