Inter-Household private transfers and underlying motives: evidence for Bulgaria

  • António Gomes de Menezes Universidade de Coimbra
  • Dario Sciulli


The effects of interactions between private transfer behaviour and income redistribution policies depend on the motives underlying private income transfers. This paper tests for two different potential motives: pure altruism versus simple exchange, in the presence of capital market imperfections. Using household survey data for Bulgaria, microeconometric evidence is found that both motives are in effect. We also find evidence that capital market imperfections are likely to be binding for consumption smoothing, and hence are an important cause of private transfers. The results indicate that social security benefits "crowd out" the amount of private transfers received but not the incidence of private transfers. Finally, private transfers play an important role as a safety net as they significantly decrease poverty rates and the inequality of income distribution.


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