South Carolina’s Gender Wealth Gap
by WREN Staff on Jun 10, 2020
This brief aims to raise awareness and inspire action to close the gap and advance prosperity in South Carolina. It defines the gender and racial wealth gap; quantifies the gap in South Carolina; highlights some of the factors that create and perpetuate it; and offers high-level policy recommendations.
- Analysis conducted by Jessie Wang, Ph.D., Robert E. Hughes Assistant Professor of Economics, Furman University, using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) from 2014. SIPP is a household-based survey designed as a continuous series of national panels. SIPP serves to collect source and amount data related to various types of income, labor force participation, social program participation and eligibility, and general demographic characteristics to measure the effectiveness of existing federal, state, and local programs. We use the person-level net worth data from SIPP to look for the suggestive evidence of a gender wealth gap. In general, wealth data is hard to collect. The dataset used here is small and not representative of all of the demographic characteristics that we would like to assess, and it is not possible to identify causation, only correlation.
- The SIPP dataset relies on respondents to identify as “male” or “female” and does not allow for analysis of those who identify as nonbinary or transgender. There is a paucity of data on the economic well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals, but national research has shown that transgender and nonbinary women earn significantly less than their cisgender counterparts.
- “People of color” is a term used to encompass respondents who do not identify as White. Because of the small size of the dataset, we are not able to stratify findings by race or ethnicity in further detail.
- While the “wage gap” is often used as a benchmark for inequality, wealth is a more comprehensive measure of financial well-being than income alone. Wealth is important because it allows people to plan for the future and weather crises, such as medical emergencies or job loss.
- For this discussion, wealth is equivalent to net worth, or the total value of assets minus all liabilities.
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More Wealth Gap Resources.
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