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Shortchanged : why women have less wealth and what can be done about it / Mariko Lin Chang
PRINT PRINT | Oxford University Press | 2010
Available at WMS STACKS (Call number: HQ1381 .C52 2010)
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x, 212 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (p. [155]-206) and index
This book focuses on the differences in wealth between women and men. It is an examination of why women struggle to accumulate assets, who has what, and why it matters. Women now receive more college degrees than men, and enter the workforce with better job opportunities than ever before. Indeed, the wage gap between men and women has never been smaller. So why does the typical woman have only 36 cents for every dollar of wealth owned by the typical man? How is it that never-married women working full-time have only 16 per cent as much wealth as similarly situated men? And why do single mothers have only 8 per cent of the wealth of single fathers? The author draws on the most comprehensive national data on wealth and on in-depth interviews to show how differences in earnings, in saving and investing, and, most important, the demands of care-giving all contribute to the gender-wealth gap. She argues that the current focus on equal pay and family-friendly workplace policies, although important, will not ultimately change or eliminate wealth inequalities. What she calls the "wealth escalator", comprised of fringe benefits, the tax code, and government benefits, and the "debt anchor" must be the targets of policies aimed at strengthening women's financial resources. She proposes a number of practical suggestions to address the unequal burdens and consequences of care-giving, so that women who work just as hard as men will not be left standing in financial quicksand. This is a comprehensive portrait of where women and men stand with respect to wealth; it not only sheds light on why women lack wealth, but also offers solutions for improving the financial situation of women, men, and families
Table of Contents
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1 Acknowledgments ix
One. 1 Women's Wealth Gap: What Is It and Why Do We Care? 1
Two. 1 Who Has What? 18
Three. 1 Wealth Escalator and the Debt Anchor 37
Four. 1 How the Deck Is Stacked Against Mothers 59
Five. 1 Saving and Investing: Do Men and Women Do It Differently? 75
Six. 1 Marriage: What's Mine Is Yours? 96
Seven. 1 Public Solutions: Why Equal Pay and Family-Friendly Policies Aren't Enough and What Should Be Done Instead 117
1 Appendix: Data and Methods 143
1 Notes 155
1 References 189
1 Index 207
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