When to give? A note on the timing of gifts and bequests

Pub. Date
27 October, 2006

We generalise the standard joy-of-giving bequest motive by including inter vivos gifts. Within a life-cycle framework, we analyse the implications of the choice of different discount factors for the utility of gifts and bequests. For a linear utility of giving, we characterise the gift and bequest pattern of a liquidity constrained individual over the life-cycle. We find that discounting at the interest rate is very convenient as the linear utility parameter can be interpreted as a summary measure for the strength of the motive of giving, net of all gift and bequest timing issues over the life-cycle.