Is there a gender gap in housing? Marital property rights in Ecuador

This study conducts a gender analysis of homeownership in Ecuador, drawing upon data collected through the nationally-representative 2010 Ecuador Household Asset Survey carried out by the authors. The survey collected data on asset ownership both at the household and individual levels. This allows us to overcome a typical problem faced by gender analyses, that of only having the sex of the household head and not the sex of the owner(s). The study explores gender differences in homeownership and housing wealth. There is fairly equal distribution of homeownership and housing wealth, which is not all that surprising given the partial community property marital regime. Any property purchased during marriage or while in a consensual union is considered joint property, unless it is inherited, in which case it is considered individually-owned property. This plus the fact that housing is an asset typically acquired during marriage/consensual union may help explain the relatively egalitarian distribution pattern of housing ownership and housing wealth. There are, however, gender differences in the determinants of homeownership and housing wealth. Past migration is associated with women owning homes and owning more housing wealth but does not seem to impact men’s homeownership or housing wealth. An extra year of schooling increases men’s housing wealth more than women’s housing wealth and women living in the coastal region own less housing wealth than men in the region.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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