Mind the (Housing) Wealth Gap.
Intergenerational Justice and Family Welfare
The transfer of family wealth across generations is of growing political and social importance. Access to private wealth (notably housing wealth) increasingly determines life chances. This raises important concerns of inter-generational justice and a fair transfer of money between family members. The project ‘Mind the (Housing) Wealth Gap: Inter-generational Justice and Family Welfare’ explores inequalities in society, particularly the uneven distribution and transfer of wealth within and across generations. The programme of research is funded for three years by the Leverhulme Trust. It will address four key aims:
- Address the barriers to change including legal, policy and financial complexities and the benefits and behaviours of individuals;
- Identify the extent to which current demographic trajectories, changing attitudes and behaviours towards wealth will reinforce or reverse existing inequalities;
- Understand the implications of these inequalities and injustices for individuals across the life course;
- Understanding changing patterns of family housing and wealth resources.
Five research streams are addressing these issues from different perspectives. The research programme aims to contribute to debates around inheritance tax, equity release products, housing wealth as a private means of social protection and the effect of economic crises on inter-generational transfers.
Dr Beverley Searle is leading the inter-disciplinary project team of 11 researchers that are located at the Centre for Housing Research (University of St Andrews), the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (University of Birmingham) and the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law (University of Durham). Further support is provided by a Steering Group of experts who will give advice throughout the research and dissemination process.
The project is funded by The Leverhulme Trust under the grant reference number RP2011-IJ-024.