7th February, 2014 / 11.00am - 4.00pm
16th July, 2021
This paper analyzes the patterns of household-level gender wealth inequality in light of financial sector transformation in the USA since the 1980s.
Securitization, the subprime lending expansion, and wider liberalization measures influenced wealth disparities by determining access to different types of wealth, asset values, and relative indebtedness. The evolution of the gender wealth gap in the context of these institutional changes is not yet clearly established in the literature. Using the U.S. Survey of Consumer Finances between 1989-2019, the paper examines changes in wealth inequality between unpartnered male-headed and female- headed households and its determinants.
It finds substantial heterogeneity of the gender wealth gap, and within- group inequality for female-headed households, across different categories of marital status, family structure, race/ethnicity and percentile of wealth distribution. Homeownership is estimated to have an equalizing impact, while differences in employment income, age, self-employment, and ownership of high-yielding assets are associated with increasing wealth disparities.
Hanna Szymborska is a Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University with a strong commitment to promoting pluralism and inclusivity in economics. She specialises in inequality, finance, policy, and taxation.