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Inequalities and the individualization of wealth

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  • Frémeaux, Nicolas
  • Leturcq, Marion

Abstract

We document the individualization of wealth in France between 1998 and 2015, using precise survey data on the property titles of assets. It is characterized by an increase in the share of wealth which is individualized by spouses (vs. jointly owned) and by an increase in the share of wealth held by singles. We show that the usual measures of wealth inequality, which allocate the same share of household wealth to each spouse or partner, overestimate the share of wealth held by women. This results in an underestimation of both the level and the growth of a) wealth inequality between individuals and b) the gender wealth gap. We argue for better consideration of the ownership status and intra-household distribution of wealth in the measurement of wealth inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Frémeaux, Nicolas & Leturcq, Marion, 2020. "Inequalities and the individualization of wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:184:y:2020:i:c:s0047272720300098
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2020.104145
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    Cited by:

    1. Céline Bessière & Sibylle Gollac, 2021. "Why do women accumulate less wealth than men?," Post-Print halshs-03513462, HAL.
    2. Michele Cantarella & Andrea Neri & Giovanna Ranalli, 2021. "Mind the wealth gap: a new allocation method to match micro and macro statistics on household wealth," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 646, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret, 2019. "Inégalités de revenus et de richesse en France : évolutions et liens sur longue période," Working Papers halshs-02401482, HAL.
    4. Philipp M. Lersch & Emanuela Struffolino & Agnese Vitali, 2022. "Wealth in Couples: Introduction to the Special Issue," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 38(4), pages 623-641, October.
    5. Nicolas Frémeaux & Arnaud Lefranc, 2020. "Assortative Mating and Earnings Inequality in France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(4), pages 757-783, December.
    6. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret, 2019. "Income and Wealth Inequality in France: Developments and Links over the Long Term," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques (INSEE), issue 510-511-5, pages 69-87.
    7. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2021. "Accounting for Wealth-Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates, and Simulations for France," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 620-663.
    8. Nicolas Frémeaux & Marion Leturcq, 2022. "Wealth Accumulation and the Gender Wealth Gap Across Couples’ Legal Statuses and Matrimonial Property Regimes in France," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 38(4), pages 643-679, October.
    9. Javier Olivera & Yadiraah Iparraguirre, 2022. "Gender gap in pension savings: Evidence from Peru’s individual capitalization system∗," Documentos de Trabajo / Working Papers 2022-513, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
    10. Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2020. "The Rise of Income and Wealth Inequality in America: Evidence from Distributional Macroeconomic Accounts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
    11. Céline Bessiere & Sibylle Gollac, 2021. "Capital," Post-Print halshs-03513446, HAL.
    12. Javier Olivera & Yadiraah Iparraguirre, 2022. "The Gender Gap in Pension Savings: Evidence from Peru's Individual Capitalization System," LISER Working Paper Series 2022-06, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
    13. Thomas Blanchet, 2022. "Uncovering the Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution," Papers 2211.15509, arXiv.org.
    14. Javier Olivera & Yadiraah Iparraguirre, "undated". "The Gender Gap in Pension Savings," Working Papers ecineq-, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    15. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2021. "Accounting for Wealth-Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates, and Simulations for France," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 620-663.
    16. Nicole Kapelle & Theresa Nutz & Daria Tisch & Manuel Schechtl & Philipp M. Lersch & Emanuela Struffolino, 2022. "My Wealth, (Y)Our Life Satisfaction? Sole and Joint Wealth Ownership and Life Satisfaction in Marriage," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 38(4), pages 811-834, October.
    17. Miriam Rehm & Alyssa Schneebaum & Barbara Schuster, 2022. "Intra-Couple Wealth Inequality: What’s Socio-Demographics Got to Do with it?," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 38(4), pages 681-720, October.
    18. Rehm, Miriam & Schneebaum, Alyssa & Schuster, Barbara, 2022. "Intra-couple wealth inequality: What's demographics got to do with it?," ifso working paper series 22, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute for Socio-Economics (ifso).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wealth; Individualization; Wealth inequality; Gender wealth gap; Matrimonial property regime; France;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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