For most of the twentieth century personal wealth became less unequally distributed and fell in value relative to incomes. But in recent decades wealth and inheritances derived from it have been growing again relative to incomes, while they remain much more unequally distributed than them. Some wealth inequalities are explained by life-cycle savings, with people building up assets through out their working lives and running them down through retirement. But wealth inequalities within age groups are almost as large as across the population as a whole. They are associated with other socio-economic differences, including social class, housing tenure, ethnicity, and disability status. This reinforces not only patterns of advantage and disadvantage within the current generation, but also of opportunities for their children and grandchildren.
Keywords: inequality; inheritance; intergenerational transmission; life cycle; wealth distribution
Chapter. 7061 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Political Economy
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