This collection of articles contains new and important findings concerning the scale and significance of asset transfers through inheritance among different populations, as well as the ways in which inheritance affects economic and social status and mobility. Evidence exists of women commonly losing access to assets when properties are redistributed following a spouse's death. This and the household effects of gaining or losing access to heritable property highlight the gendered and intergenerational dimensions of inheritance. As an introduction to the collection, this article provides an overview of how inheritance has been understood in poverty-related policy and research up to now. We then synthesise what the new findings presented in this collection tell us about inheritance as a crucial factor in women's poverty and the intergenerational transmission of poverty, highlighting what other researchers and policy-makers can take from this research to address the gendered and intergenerational dimensions of inheritance in different contexts.
This special issue is an output from the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) which was funded by UK aid from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The views expressed are not necessarily those of DFID. The CPRC gratefully acknowledges DFID's support.