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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 3 (May 2013)

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Inheritances, Intergenerational Transfers, and the Accumulation of Health

Article Citation

Carman, Katherine Grace. 2013. "Inheritances, Intergenerational Transfers, and the Accumulation of Health." American Economic Review, 103(3): 451-55.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.451

Abstract

This paper considers the mechanisms behind a positive correlation between inheritances and health. First, there may merely be a correlation: those from families with enough wealth to provide an inheritance tend to have better health. Second, financial resources could be used to purchase inputs to health. Third, bequests may signal a stronger interest in one's child. This reminder to the child could improve their emotional well-being. On average, the positive correlation suggests merely correlation. However, among subsets of the population, particularly men and those expecting to receive an inheritance, there is a causal relationship likely driven by the third mechanism.

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Authors

Carman, Katherine Grace (RAND Corporation)

JEL Classifications

D14: Personal Finance
D64: Altruism; Philanthropy
I10: Health: General
I31: General Welfare


American Economic Review


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