4/2019 Jaanika Meriküll, Merike Kukk, Tairi Rõõm. What explains the gender gap in wealth? Evidence from administrative data

Working Papers of Eesti Pank 4/2019

Article: What explains the gender gap in wealth? Evidence from administrative data, 2021, Review of Economics of the Household.


This paper studies the gender gap in net wealth. We use administrative data on wealth that are linked to the Estonian Household Finance and Consumption Survey, which provides individual-level wealth data for all household types. We find that the unconditional gender gap in mean wealth is 45% and that it is caused by large wealth disparities in the upper end of the wealth distribution. The structure of assets owned by men is more diversified than that for women. Men own more business assets and vehicles, while women own more deposits. The gender gaps in these asset components cannot be explained by observable characteristics. For partner-headed households the raw gender gaps across deciles are mostly in favour of men, and more strongly so for married couples, indicating that resources are not entirely pooled within households. For single-member households the raw gaps across quantiles are partially in favour of women. Accounting for observable characteristics renders the unexplained parts of the gaps mostly insignificant for all household types.

JEL Codes: D31, J16, J71

DOI: 10.23656/25045520/042019/0166

Keywords: gender gap, wealth, inequality, intra-household allocation of wealth, Estonia


The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of Eesti Pank or the Eurosystem.