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Family Matters No. 50 - June 1998

Intergenerational family transfers

Dimensions of inequality
David de Vaus and Lixia Qu

Abstract

The role of the state in supporting the well being of citizens is being redefined throughout western society. There is an apparent consensus among governments that the responsibility for the provision of services and support should shift from government to the market, the community and the family. This article focuses on some of the implications of expecting families to make up for what the state will no longer provide, and considers whether such changes are likely to affect generational, gender, socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities.

The role of the state in supporting the well being of citizens is being redefined throughout western society. There is an apparent consensus among governments that the responsibility for the provision of services and support should shift from government to the market, the community and the family. This article focuses on some of the implications of expecting families to make up for what the state will no longer provide, and considers whether such changes are likely to affect generational, gender, socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities.

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