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ShortchangedWhy Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It$
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Mariko Lin Chang

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367690

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367690.001.0001

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The Women’s Wealth Gap

The Women’s Wealth Gap

What Is It and Why Do We Care?

(p.1) One The Women’s Wealth Gap

Mariko Lin Chang

Oxford University Press

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

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