Inequalities between generations since the baby boom

4 octobre 2011 par lucieberaudsudreau

Inequalities between generations since the baby-boom / Les inégalités entre générations depuis le baby-boom

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Cohorts born at the end of the 1940s benefited from a clear generational improvement : from one generation to another, employment conditions when entering the labor market were more favorable, life standards improved steadily, access to education and housing ownership were more frequent. These improvements slowed down sharply for the 1950s and 1960s generations.  These last two cohorts, quite early in their life, were confronted to a contrasted situation. Several years of a good economic context at the turn of the 2000s contributed to offering them a higher life standard than the previous generations at the same age. They then benefited from low interest rates that eased access to ownership, despite the rise of real estate prices. However, this improvement seems to depend highly on the macro-economic context. Inequalities between generations is moreover accompanied by inequalities within generations. Access to employment is thus closely linked to the degree level. Diplomas protect from unemployment and more often guarantees a stable job – yet the price to pay is a loss in social position and a loss in wages. People without degrees, on the other hand, appear more and more dependent on the economic context, not only when they drop out of the educational system but also at the beginning of their career. Lastly, the fragile generational improvement, and the increased importance given to inter-generational wealth transfers, enable to predict an increase in inequalities according to the social origin. Thus, since the beginning of the 2000s, it is possible to observe young generations going back to ownership, but the gap in ownership rates tends to increase among socio-professionnal categories.


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