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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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Public Solutions

Public Solutions

Why Equal Pay and Family-Friendly Policies Aren’t Enough and What Should Be Done Instead

(p.117) Seven Public Solutions

Mariko Lin Chang

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains why equal pay and family-friendly policies cannot close the gender wealth gap. Instead, it argues the need for new policies that address the two primary causes of the gender wealth gap: the motherhood wealth tax and women's lack of access to the wealth escalator. These new policy directions include providing paid family leave, integrating caregiving into the wealth escalator, and engaging men in caretaking. It also argues for the advantages inherent in providing additional mechanisms for supporting wealth-building opportunities for single parents, improving women's access to low-interest loans, increasing opportunities for women's entrepreneurship, expanding the definition of assets as codified in divorce laws, and decoupling affordable health care from full-time employment.

Keywords:   family-friendly policies, equal pay, gender wealth gap, motherhood wealth tax, wealth escalator, paid family leave, single parents

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