Decomposing the Gender Wealth Gap in Ecuador

This paper examines the pattern of wealth inequality across genders, for sole and then partnered household heads in Ecuador, at different points of the wealth distribution. We find stark contrasts with results for developed countries and important differences between sole versus partnered heads. In Ecuador, the wealth gap is larger among sole heads and the shape of the gap differs. Among sole heads, the gap favors men across the distribution and is largest at the lower tail. Among partnered heads, the gap is much less pronounced throughout the distribution, actually reverting at the lower tail. At the lower tail of the distribution, the gender gap is primarily associated with differing returns to covariates. At the median and upper quantiles, gender differences in endowments (ownership of savings accounts, education, and age) drive the gap. Gender bias in inheritance plays a significant role only at lower and median wealth levels.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
D31; J16; N36; O54
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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