Charitable bequests and wealth at death in Great Britain

Atkinson, A.B., Backus, P.G. and Micklewright, J. (2009) Charitable bequests and wealth at death in Great Britain. Southampton, UK, Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute, 63pp. (S3RI Applications & Policy Working Papers, A09/03).


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Charitable bequests are a major source of income for charities. But surprisingly little is known in Britain about them. We review the small British and larger US literatures and then consider how best to model the decision to make a charitable bequest. We identify three stages: making a will, including a charity as a potential beneficiary, and bequeathing unconditionally. We then examine the evidence for Britain on each stage provided by data on individual estates. The data cover the population of estates that passed through probate – about a quarter of a million estates from a 12 month period. We focus on the relationship with wealth at death, on geographic differences, and on the different causes to which people bequeath.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Keywords: charitable donations, bequests, wealth at death, NGOs
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute
ePrint ID: 65909
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
27 March 2009Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:51
Giving to Development
Funded by: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (RES-155-25-0061)
Led by: John Micklewright
1 January 2006 to 31 December 2008

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