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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 Wealth Escalator and the Debt Anchor

The Wealth Escalator and the Debt Anchor

(p.37) Three The Wealth Escalator and the Debt Anchor

Mariko Lin Chang

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the concept of the wealth escalator as the mechanism for understanding why men have an advantage when it comes to translating income into wealth. It also discusses the debt anchor that compounds women's wealth-building disadvantage. It argues that, while earnings are important, the ability to tap into the wealth escalator helps one build wealth much more quickly than by earnings alone. Women's lower incomes place them at a disadvantage in wealth building, but women are less likely to tap into the wealth escalator because of the types of jobs and industries they work in and because of their patterns of labor force participation.

Keywords:   income, wealth, debt anchor, wealth escalator, wealth-building disadvantage, labor force participation

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