Is there an unfair generational distribution of resources, do Millennials have inequitable opportunity for investment? If such inequality exists, is it cultural?

The expectation of a greater standard of living for subsequent generations has become universal. However it is becoming apparent that contrast to older generations, younger Australians may experience a reduced standard of living (Daley, J. Wood, D. 2014). The proposed project will analyse whether or not the opportunity for investment is prejudiced towards older generations, and if such preference exists, is it cultural.

In order to determine if such segmentation exists and the opportunity for Millennial economic investment, analyse of two major research projects will be a focal interest; The Grattan Institute on the Wealth of Generations and The Guardian’s report supported by Joseph Rowntree Trust. Moreover study and interpretation of historical comparisons and social opinion to determine the cultural application. Additionally we must understand potential for bias due to association with the Millennial generation.

The Grattan Institute report on the Wealth of Generations determined that following the 2008 financial crisis, younger generation Australian (Millennials, or Generation Y) wealth declined at 4 per cent from 2004-2012. However older household wealth accumulated above 19 per cent, specifically that of the ‘Baby Boomers’ increasing by 27 per cent (Jericho, G. 2014).

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 10.07.51 pm
Source: Grattan Institute, Fig. 2.1.

Additionally one significant aspect of generational divide is that of the property market, with Millennials in Australia illustrating a decline in property ownership. Thus demonstrating a generational divide on the benefits of the property boom. Such correlation could be the result of increased incomes as the female workforce expanded, sustained economic growth and expectations of potential income growth (Daley, J. Wood, D. 2014). However decline in property ownership is relative to negative gearing, the tax deductible process of property losses on the investor’s income. Cooke (2016) states that due to this particular application, Australia’s property market has become on of the most expensive internationally. However Daley et al. (2014) illustrates that younger households comparatively have notably more financial resources, such as shares and superannuation which should allow for longevity of savings.  

Moreover we will examine whether or not this specifically affects Australian households. With Barr et al. (2016) illustrating that Millennials across the globe are financially depressed. The report conducted by The Guardian, via analysis of the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), determined that the accumulation of young European and North American household wealth lagged when compared to national averages of the previous 30 years (Barr et al. 2016). Youth unemployment is at a staggering 50 per cent in regions of Europe, specifically that of Greece, Croatia and Spain. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, states that this is partly the result of the labour market constructed to protect older ‘insiders,’ “individuals with permanent, high-paid contracts and shielded by strong labour laws (Malik, S. 2016).”

Drawing upon historical applications (Owram, 1997) such cultural divergence, that of the ‘Boomers’ musical, fashion and interests have overshadowed the culture of younger generations, may apply a causal relationship applied to the economic opportunities for Millennials through the reduction of societal interests in ‘youthful’ activities. The prioritisation of Boomers in politics has an perceptible relationship. This is due to the boomer population, wealth and cultural influence (Cooke, R. 2016). Daley et al. (2014) states that there is a disproportionate level of government spending applied to older generations. However such output generally applies to those seeking welfare and assistance. The ‘Boomer’ population birthed from a period of conservative spending, contrast to modern investment property being affordable while electronics were extortionate. Cooke (2016) aligns this with the cultural associations with consumerism and the association with Millennials being ‘spoilt.’ Thus Cooke (2016) illustrates a fleeting reasoning as to why Millennials seek consumerism, as home ownership is becoming a bleak landscape such individuals turn to instant gratification, to improve upon their value of life through such products.


Barr, C. Malik, S. (Revealed: the 30 year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y’s income, The Guardian, viewed 24.03.15 <>

Cooke, R. (2016) The Boomer Supremacy, The Monthly, viewed 24.03.16 <>

Daley, J., Wood, D., Weidmann, B. and Harrison, C., 2014, The Wealth of Generations, Grattan Institute

Jericho, G. (2014) Generation Y have every right to be angry at baby boomers’ share of wealth, The Guardian, viewed 24.03.16 <>

Malik, S. Barr, C. (2016) European Job Market Is Rigged Against Younger Workers, Says Draghi, The Guardian, viewed 25.03.16 <>

Owram, D. (1997) Born at the right time, University of Toronto Press


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