ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Evidence from Karnataka

Gender Asset and Wealth Gaps

In the discussions concerning progress on gender equality, the status of women's asset ownership is a critical missing indicator. Assets are a product of accumulated income, reflecting long-term well-being, and thus are important for determining livelihood choices. While there is general agreement that few women own key assets, there is no systematic sex-disaggregated asset data to measure or monitor. Households are the unit of analysis in standard surveys, where the only feasible gender analysis is by sex of the household head. Using data from a state-representative survey conducted in 2010-11, this paper presents estimates of the gender asset and wealth gaps. The results show substantial gender disparities with respect to asset ownership and wealth.

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