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Cross-Generation Wealth Transfers

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Faced with uncertain prospects for Social Security and Medicare, can baby boomers rely on large transfers from their parents and grandparents to finance their retirement? Although economists generally agree that a major fraction of the existing stock of wealth can be traced to gifts and bequests, there is little direct evidence on the size of these cross-generation transfers. There are two main reasons to doubt that the boomers will receive much larger bequests than their counterparts did 30 years ago or will be able to rely on such bequests for financing retirement consumption.

Suggested citation: "Cross-Generation Wealth Transfers," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 99-06, pp. 12-14, 06.01.1999.

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