Intergenerational Disadvantage: Learning about Equal Opportunity from Social Assistance Receipt

Deborah A COBB-CLARK, Sarah C Dahmann, Nicolas Salamanca Acosta, Anna Zhu

The IZA Institute of Labor Economics | Published : 2017


We use variation in the extent of generational persistence across social assistance payments to shed light on the factors leading to intergenerational disadvantage. Our administrative data come from the Australian social security system and provide us with detailed social assistance trajectories – across the entire social safety net – for a birth cohort of young people and their families over an 18-year period. We find that young people are 1.8 times more likely to need social assistance if their parents have a history of receiving social assistance themselves. These young people also receive more intensive support; an additional $12,000 over an 8-year period. The intergenerational corre..

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