Gender Inequality in the Wealth of Older Canadians
AbstractBeyond income, wealth is an important measure of economic well-being, because while income captures the current state of inequality, wealth has the potential for examining accumulated and historically structured inequality. This paper documents the extent of gender inequality in wealth for Canadian women and men aged 45 and older. The analysis uses data from the 1999 Canadian Survey of Financial Security, a large nationally representative survey of household wealth in Canada. Wealth is measured by total net worth as measured by total assets minus debt. We test two general hypotheses to account for gender differences in wealth. The differential exposure hypothesis suggest that women report less wealth accumulation because of their reduced access to the material and social conditions of life that foster economic security. The differential vulnerability hypothesis suggests that women report lower levels of wealth because they receive differential returns to material and social conditions of their lives. Support is found for both hypotheses. Much of the gender differences in wealth can be explained by the gendering of work and family roles that restricts women’s ability to build up assets over the life course. But beyond this, there are significant gender interaction effects that indicate that women are further penalized by their returns to participation in family life, their health and where they live. When women do work, net of other factors, they are better able to accumulate wealth than their male counterparts.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 169.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
wealth; retirement; net assets; gender differences;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kevin Milligan, 2005.
"Life-cycle asset accumulation and allocation in Canada,"
Canadian Journal of Economics,
Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 1057-1106, August.
- Kevin Milligan, 2004. "Life-Cycle Asset Accumulation and Allocation in Canada," NBER Working Papers 10860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kevin Milligan, 2004. "Life-cycle Asset Accumulation and Allocation in Canada," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 122, McMaster University.
- Neil J. Buckley & Frank T. Denton & A. Leslie Robb & Byron G. Spencer, 2004.
"Healthy Aging at Older Ages: Are Income and Education Important?,"
Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers
123, McMaster University.
- Neil J. Buckley & Frank T. Denton & A. Leslie Robb & Byron G. Spencer, 2004. "Healthy Aging at Older Ages: Are Income and Education Important?," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 392, McMaster University.
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