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Wealth transfers and their economic effects: research paper

Assets Intergenerational wealth transfers Property Wealth Australia

The Productivity Commission has released this comprehensive research report on wealth transfers in Australia to improve understanding of the impact of inheritances and gifts on the distribution of wealth.

The research shows that inheritances and gifts more than doubled since 2002 and could rise four-fold in real terms between now and 2050, as household wealth grows and the population ages. But perhaps surprisingly, these wealth transfers are reducing some measures of relative wealth inequality in Australia.

More than inheritances, asset price growth, particularly for housing, has a much greater impact on wealth inequality.

The study shows that so far, each generation has been wealthier on average than the previous one at the equivalent age, though baby boomers have done particularly well. Children tend to enjoy a similar relative wealth position to that of their parents, but inheritances are not the main driver of this.

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