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Wealth Transfers and their Economic Effects

Commission research

Background

Household wealth is important because economic wellbeing depends on people’s consumption today and over time, and because wealth provides financial security.

Australians hold net assets in excess of $11 trillion, or more than $400 000 per capita. But there is little comprehensive analysis on how much of that wealth is passed on each year in the form of bequests when people die, or irregular gifts, for example, in the form of cash assistance from parents to help their children purchase a home.

This research will build on the Commission’s 2018 research report, Rising Inequality? A stocktake of the evidence, which found that household wealth inequality had likely increased in the period from the early 2000s to 2016, and was much less evenly distributed than income.

Objectives of the study

This research will create a fact base on wealth transfer behaviour in Australia to understand how much wealth is transferred between households each year, as well as the impact of wealth transfers on the past and projected future distribution of wealth in the context of intra and intergenerational inequality and mobility.

Expected release date

Late 2021

Contact

Jared Dent 02 6240 3230