Just The Facts

Social Mobility: Why Grandparents Matter So Much

No other factor determines one’s material position in life more than one’s grandparents.

Takeaways


  • On balance, education, hard work and getting a good job are less important than having had the right ancestors.

1. On balance, education, hard work and getting a good job are less important than having had the right ancestors.

2. While one doesn’t get to choose one’s grandparents, few if any factors are more determinative of financial well-being.

3. If one’s elderly relatives own property, one can reasonably expect an inheritance and hence a huge leg-up. Parents are likely to pass the money down a generation.

4. The importance of having well-endowed grandparents results from the rise in real house prices in recent decades, while real wages have stagnated or declined in many developed countries.

From Britain is Recreating a Rentier Society Fit for a Baby Royal by Chris Giles (Financial Times)

 

 

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