wealth inequalities between men and women are widening

Thomas Piketty made himself known worldwide by highlighting the sharp rise in wealth inequalities between the wealthiest and the poorest households. Other researchers have studied these differences between women and men living in couples. Conclusion? “They have almost doubled in our country in almost twenty years, going from 9% in 1998 to 16% in 2015, that is to say that on average men have a wealth that has increased faster than that of women “, notes Marion Leturcq, researcher at the National Institute for Demographic Studies. A result all the more strange in that in France the young generation of women is on average more educated than that of men; they can therefore claim better positions.

As soon as women form a couple, they lose, both in terms of stock – that is to say on the heritage they constitute – and in terms of flow – that is to say on their income. « The average income gap between men and women is 25% in general, but it drops to 9% between single people and to 42% in couples of different sexes ”, remarks Sibylle Gollac, researcher at the CNRS and co-author with Céline Bessière of Kind of capital. How the family reproduces inequalities (The Discovery, 2020).

Advantage to sons

Although it has evolved a lot over time and continues to transform today, the family remains the breeding ground for gender inequalities… and it begins at birth. ” Even if the civil code lays down the principle of equality between children before the succession of their parents, in practice this is not always the case ”, says Sibylle Gollac. The reason ? “Reverse accounting” is a common practice in estates.

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Parents very often decide to attribute the structuring assets that are family houses and businesses to their sons, especially elders; charge to the notary to organize an acceptable compensation for the other heirs. The one who has received more then compensates his brothers, but especially his sisters, who receive sums of money much more often than boys. Gold, “It is possible to undervalue real estate or professional property so that the recipient does not have to pay too much compensation”, observes Sibylle Gollac. In addition to this bias induced by inheritance, sons also benefit more from advance donations than daughters, which allows them to accumulate wealth more quickly. Especially since they are financially helped more regularly than their sisters.

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