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Gender, Marriage, And Asset Accumulation In The United States

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  • Lucie Schmidt
  • Purvi Sevak

Abstract

Wealth accumulation has important implications for the relative well-being of households. This article describes how household wealth in the United States varies by gender and family type. Evidence is found of large differences in observed wealth between single-female-headed households and married couples. Although some of this gap reflects differences in observable characteristics correlated with gender and wealth - such as position in the life cycle, education, and family earnings - controlling for these characteristics reduces but does not eliminate the estimated wealth gap. The wealth holdings of single females in the US, controlling for these same characteristics, are also significantly lower than the wealth holdings of single males. In contrast, observed wealth gaps between genders in a sub-sample of young households disappear when controlling for observable characteristics, suggesting either that in the US these gaps are disappearing for younger households or that these gaps do not emerge until later in life.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1-2 ()
Pages: 139-166

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Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:12:y:2006:i:1-2:p:139-166

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Related research

Keywords: Wealth; gender; family structure; JEL Codes: D3; J16; J12;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Denise Doiron & Rochelle Guttmann, 2009. "Wealth Distributions of Migrant and Australian-born Households," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(268), pages 32-45, 03.
  2. Angela Lyons & Urvi Neelakantan & Erik Scherpf, 2008. "Gender and Marital Differences in Wealth and Investment Decisions: Implications for Researchers, Financial Professionals, and Educators," NFI Working Papers 2008-WP-02, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
  3. Jonathan Vespa & Matthew Painter, 2011. "Cohabitation History, Marriage, and Wealth Accumulation," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 983-1004, August.
  4. Erin Ruel & Robert Hauser, 2013. "Explaining the Gender Wealth Gap," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1155-1176, August.
  5. Bertocchi, Graziella & Brunetti, Marianna & Torricelli, Costanza, 2009. "Marriage and Other Risky Assets: A Portfolio Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7162, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Eva M. Sierminska & Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2008. "Examining the Gender Wealth Gap in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 115, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Eva M. Sierminska & Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2010. "Examining the gender wealth gap," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 669-690, October.
  8. Markus M. Grabka & Jan Marcus & Eva Sierminska, 2013. "Wealth Distribution within Couples and Financial Decision Making," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 540, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  9. Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2012. "Closing the Gender Gap: What Would It Take?," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2012-006, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  10. Judy Postmus & Sara-Beth Plummer & Sarah McMahon & Karen Zurlo, 2013. "Financial Literacy: Building Economic Empowerment with Survivors of Violence," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 275-284, September.
  11. Grabka, Markus M. & Marcus, Jan & Sierminska, Eva, 2013. "Wealth Distribution within Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 7637, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Grinstein-Weiss, Michal & Hun Yeo, Yeong & Zhan, Min & Charles, Pajarita, 2008. "Asset holding and net worth among households with children: Differences by household type," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 62-78, January.
  13. Raval, Vishvesh & Vyas, Khyati, 2013. "Financial freedom experience of Indian Male and Female Executives," MPRA Paper 49460, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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