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CEP discussion paper
Trends in intergenerational home ownership and wealth transmission
Jo Blanden, Andrew Eyles and Stephen Machin
April 2021
Paper No' CEPDP1756:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: R31; J11; D31; J62

Tags: housing; intergenerational mobility; wealth; cohorts

Prior research on trends in intergenerational mobility in economic status has focused chiefly on income and earnings. There is hardly any research on trends in intergenerational wealth transmission, at least in part because of the rarity of cross-generational data with wealth measures good enough for a cross-time analysis to be undertaken. In the intergenerational setting, housing tenure data is more widely available than good data on total wealth. This paper uses cross-time changes in intergenerational associations in home ownership to generate evidence on trends in intergenerational wealth mobility. Both home ownership and the value of main residence are shown to be strongly associated with wealth accumulation. The strength of the intergenerational link in home ownership in the UK has grown over time and, as parental home ownership displays a strong relationship with an individual’s future wealth, this can be informative about trends in intergenerational wealth transmission. Taken together, the results indicate that intergenerational wealth transmission has strengthened over time in Britain.