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Younger adults’ retirement saving and wealth accumulation in Britain a quantitative investigation

Suh, Ellie (2020) Younger adults’ retirement saving and wealth accumulation in Britain a quantitative investigation. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Recent developments in the pension landscape have resulted in an increased level of uncertainty for the younger generation’s retirement saving, the nature of which has consequently become more akin to wealth accumulation. Young adults are increasingly encouraged to save more for the future; however, not much is known about their approaches to retirement saving and wealth accumulation. This thesis aims to assess these approaches; it first focuses on the younger generation’s current economic autonomy in retirement saving and further expands it to investigate young adults’ wealth accumulation patterns. The thesis consists of four studies. The first study examines the role of human agency in retirement saving using structural equation modelling, and argues that individuals’ economic autonomy is closely linked to their socio-economic arrangements. The second study further investigates gender differences in retirement saving decision-making process using SEM multi-group analysis, and documents the negative impact of the male-breadwinner income model on women’s financial resilience. The third study examines the role of financial support from family in young adults’ homeownership in discrete-time event history analysis. The results point to a substantial amount of both direct help (money) and indirect assistance (co-residence). The last study assesses wealth accumulation patterns by establishing four saver types using factor mixture modelling. Transition between the saver types over time is analysed using latent transition analysis. The results show that, while the transitions between saver types over time are mostly stable, more upwards movement is observed for individuals from a higher socio-economic background. This thesis provides evidence on how young adult’s ability to manage uncertainty and organise their lives is influenced by socio-economic arrangements. In particular, it documents the increasing role of family background and the effects of systematic (dis)advantage among young adults. These findings point to a need for coordination of a wide range of policies that alleviate economic insecurity in the short- and mid-term in order for the younger generation to plan for the long-term future with autonomy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2020 Ellie Suh
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Moustaki, Irini and Hills, John

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