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Working Paper No. 341 | November 2001

Israeli Attitudes about Inter Vivos Transfers

Using data from the 1994–95 Survey of Families in Israel—which includes 1,607 urban Jewish respondents interviewed on topics relating to work behavior, household income, wealth, assistance received from parents and given to children, and views about financial responsibilities between parents and children—the authors examined attitudes in Israel about intergenerational assistance and the effects of these attitudes on transfer decisions by parents. Views about parental obligations are likely not independent of a country's economic and social organization. In a country with an extensive program of public assistance for young adults, for example, there may be less need for private family transfers and less of a sense of parental responsibility for providing support. Similarly, where young couples face severe liquidity constraints or otherwise require substantial resources in order to begin a household, parental feelings of obligation might be heightened. Israel is a country in which the need for parental support is high and the level of parental involvement in the financial lives of young adults is often considerable.


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