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The Wealth Of Single Women: Marital Status And Parenthood In The Asset Accumulation Of Young Baby Boomers In The United States

  • Alexis Yamokoski
  • Lisa Keister
Registered author(s):

    In the United States, household wealth is unequally distributed. While facts about the distribution are readily available, less is known about the family dynamics that underlie this important component of inequality. An increasing number of households are headed by single females (both never married and divorced), and the number of single mothers among these households has grown in recent decades. This article explores differences in wealth in the US by marital status, gender, and parenting status. It focuses on young baby boomers, finding a minimal gender gap in the wealth of never-married people. However, when controlling for parenthood, strong evidence was found of a family gap in household wealth accumulation, with single mothers and fathers economically disadvantaged in comparison to adults without children. Yet, it was fiound that single mothers suffer the most severe economic penalties in household wealth accumulation.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13545700500508478
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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1-2 ()
    Pages: 167-194

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:12:y:2006:i:1-2:p:167-194
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    1. Easterlin, Richard A., 1987. "Birth and Fortune," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226180328.
    2. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
    4. Reuben Gronau, 1982. "Sex-Related Wage Differentials and Women's Interrupted Labor Careers--The Chicken or the Egg," NBER Working Papers 1002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. W. G. Gale & J. K. Scholz, . "Intergenerational transfers and the accumulation of wealth," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1019-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    6. John Sabelhaus & Joyce Manchester, 1995. "Baby Boomers and Their Parents: How Does Their Economic Well-Being Compare in Middle Age?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 791-806.
    7. Laura M. Argys & H. Elizabeth Peters & Donald M. Waldman, 2001. "Can the Family Support Act Put Some Life Back into Deadbeat Dads?: An Analysis of Child-Support Guidelines, Award Rates, and Levels," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 226-252.
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