The Women’s Wealth Gap

Mariko Lin Chang

in Shortchanged

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195367690
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944101 | DOI:
The Women’s Wealth Gap

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Women may earn 78% of what men earn, but they own only 36% as much wealth. In discussing the financial standing of women in America, a focus on income is misleading because wealth is a much more meaningful measure of economic well-being. This chapter argues that a women's wealth gap would persist even if the gender income gap were eliminated. There are two basic reasons for this persistence: men have greater access to the wealth escalator, which translates income into wealth at a faster rate, and women are more likely to shoulder the financial burden of single parenthood. While income is no doubt important to women's economic security, the discussion suggests that people need the attention to gender differences in wealth to understand fully how women might attain financial equality.

Keywords: single parenthood; wealth; wage discrimination; American women; wealth escalator; financial equality

Chapter.  6407 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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