How do bequests explain differences in savings behavior between countries?

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1. Introduction: Savings and Bequests (Toshiaki Tachibanaki)-1
2. Intended Bequest Motives, Savings and Life Insurance Demand (Hiroyuki Chuma)-15
3. Cost of Care and Bequests (Tadashi Yagi and Hirohisa Maki)-39
4. Storing the Option and Saving for Retirement in Canada (Anil K. Gupta, Steven F. Venti, and David A. Wise)-63
5. Measuring the Bequest Motive: The Effect of Children on Saving by the Elderly in the United States (Michael D. Hurd)-111
6. Bequests, Fiscal Policy, and Social Security (Toshihiro Ihori)-137
7. Intergenerational Altruism and the Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy-New Tests Based on Cohort Data (Andrew B. Abel and Laurence J. Kotlikoff)-167
8. Bequest and Asset Distribution: Human Capital Investment and Intergenerational Wealth Transfers (Toshiaki Tachibanaki and Seiji Takata)-197
9. The Effect of Bequest Motives on the Composition and Distribution of Assets in France (Luc Arrondel, Sergio Perelman, and Pierre Pestieau)-229
10. The Effect of Bequest Motives on the Distribution of Wealth in Britain and Canada (James B. Davies)-245


It is of frequent concern that the United States and the United Kingdom have very low rates of personal savings, whereas several other advanced industrialized countries – particularly Japan, France, and Italy – have high rates of personal savings. These essays address the salient questions suggested by this contrast. Do different attitudes to bequests explain the difference in the saving rates among these countries? What are the different kinds of bequest – real estate, financial assets, or human capital? Is it possible to conclude that bequests affect the formation of fiscal policies, or are they neutral with respect to fiscal policies? Finally, what is the relationship between bequests and public pensions?
In an effort to answer these questions the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) organized an international conference on savings and bequests in Tokyo in March 1992. Among the distinguished specialists from Europe, Japan, and North America who presented papers on the subject were: Hiroyuki Chuma, Michael Hurd, David Wise, Toshihiro Ihori, Laurence Kotlikoff, Pierre Pestieau, Toshiaki Tachibakanki, and Seiji Takata. This book is an outgrowth of that conference. Many countries are discussed in this book, including Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.