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Philosophy of posterity concerns itself with ethical and legal issues of bequeathable values.
Bequeathable wealth includes cash, bank accounts, stocks, and life insurance policies--assets that can be passed on to the next generation.
Maybe they do--maybe parents misrepresent their bequeathable wealth from the start, or routinely engage in secret binge consumption before death, in both cases cheating their kids out of all or a portion of the promised inheritance.
Suppose it could be established that individuals have a natural right to appropriate unowned resources in such a way as to generate bequeathable and relatively unqualified property rights.
In a well-known article, Bernheim, Shleifer, and Summers [1985] (hereafter referred to as BSS) found empirical support for the strategic bequest motive, based on an observed positive relationship between children's visits and telephone calls to elderly parents per child (as the measure of attention) and bequeathable wealth per child (as the measure of the financial motivation for providing such attention).
Bernheim, Shleifer and Summers (1985) develop a simple model of strategic bequests in which the parents influence the behaviour of their children by holding wealth in bequeathable form and by conditioning the division of bequests among their children (and perhaps others) on the beneficiaries' actions.
In his essay on this topic, "Property Rights: Original Acquisition and Lockean Provisos," Narveson begins with Nozick's rendering of the proviso: "A process normally giving rise to a permanent bequeathable property right in a previously unowned thing will not do so if the position of others no longer at liberty to use the thing is thereby worsened." (22) Narveson then asks the key question, "Made worse how?" (23) In other words, what is the relevant sort of worsening for the liberal?
In the most cited empirical study of exchange, Bernheim, Shleifer, and Summers (1985) infer support for the exchange motive from a positive relationship between the number of contacts with parents and parents' bequeathable wealth.
They develop a model of strategic bequests in which a testator influences the decisions of the beneficiaries by holding wealth in bequeathable forms and by conditioning the division of bequests on the beneficiaries' actions.
But, says Pollock, "Obviously there is a huge jump from thinking that we should not interfere with an agent's ongoing use of some land to the conclusion that the agent has a permanent, bequeathable right to the land" (P.
If there are victims whose later-generation heirs can be identified (rare), then the problem will be to determine both (a) what compensation to them is appropriate in view of what they would have had if the original injustice had not happened, and (b) what is owed to the other victims, namely the ones who innocently, as they supposed, acquired and then put to good use the bequeathable items in question.
Research on actual wealth decumulation by age is driven by two questions: (1) How does "bequeathable wealth" change with age, and (2) How do older people divide their assets between bequeathable and non-bequeathable wealth?