The Gender Wealth Gap by Household Head in Vietnam
Duc Hong Vo; Phuong Doan Ho; Chi Minh Ho; Michael McAleer, Advances in Decision Sciences, Asia University, Taiwan (2019)
While the gender income gap has been examined extensively, the gender wealth gap has largely been ignored, especially for emerging markets such as Vietnam. The lack of serious analysis has caused great concern for practitioners and policymakers as public policy targeting the inequality in income and wealth across genders has not achieved their desired outcomes. Previous studies on gender in emerging markets have focused on income rather than wealth. This paper provides a comprehensive review and insightful policy recommendations on an important issue. Using data from Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey (VHLSS), the paper examines the gender wealth inequality for sole-head families and partner-head families in Vietnam in 2016, the latest year for which data are available.
In addition, the paper extends the Machado-Mata decomposition technique based on the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, which was developed for quantile regressions, to examine the relationship across the distributions of wealth accumulation. The empirical findings from the paper indicate that, among partnered heads, female-head families experienced a larger gap of wealth accumulation. At the lower quantities of wealth accumulation, the gender wealth gap is primarily associated with different characteristics for both sole and partner-head households. At the median and upper tails of the distribution of wealth accumulation, gender differences in endowments (such as education level and living area) are the main determinants in explaining the wealth gap. Given the empirical findings in the paper, policy implications emerge for the Vietnam Government to consider policies targeting support for females as female-head families appear to be poorer than their male-head counterparts in terms of wealth.