Interviene: Anne Gauthier (University of Calgary e Nidi)
Organizzato da: Centro Dondena
Abstract: Most industrialized countries have experienced an increase in their level of income inequality in the recent decades (OECD 2008) leading numerous authors to talk about the disappearance of the middle class or more generally of the 'middle class squeeze' (Mitchell 2006; Weller 2006). What this means in concrete terms is that for those families in the middle of the income distribution, it has been getting harder to stay in the middle and especially to get ahead and to maintain their standard of living (Acs and Nichols 2010).
In this paper, I will be focusing on families with a middle-income and examining their level of living and experience of financial strain based on data collected in Canada and the United States in 2008-2010 as part of our Families in the Middle (FIM) project. I will be asking two main questions: (1) What is the financial situation of middle-income families in Canada and the US? How much financial resources do they have but also how much financial strain are they experiencing? And (2) How much do they invest in their children? Or more generally how do manage their limited resources especially when it comes to their children?
These questions are part of our general interest in family budget management, inter-generational transfers, and their links with the welfare state. And while Canada and the United States both belong to the so-called liberal welfare state regime, as will be shown in the paper they also differ widely.