Understanding gender in wealth inequality - Humboldt-Universität

01/02 Oct 2020

The "Understanding Gender in Wealth Inequality" workshop has issued a call for papers for the event that will take place on 1-2 October 2020 at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. The deadline is 30 April 2020.


Gender inequalities in education and labour market achievements have narrowed in the last decades in most Western countries. Nevertheless, the gender gap persists in terms of economic outcomes such as income and wealth, as women have substantially lower lifetime earnings and hold less financial, housing and pension wealth than men on average. An increasing number of studies have provided empirical evidence for the gender pay gap and the motherhood penalty during early and mid-adulthood. Despite the cumulative effect of wealth, gender disparities in wealth accumulation remain largely under-researched. Furthermore, wealth is often studied at the household level and assumed to be shared equally within households, which masks any inequality within households.

Therefore, this workshop will consider two different aspects of gender wealth inequality: between households and within the household. Understanding the multiple dimensions of gender wealth inequality is critical, as these inform how and to what extent wealth inequality is linked to women’s economic autonomy and freedom of choices over the life-course.

The workshop

This two-day workshop has two goals. First, it aims to enhance the understanding of gendered patterns, mechanisms, and consequences of wealth inequality. Second, it brings a multidisciplinary group of early-career researchers to develop a collective research agenda concerning conceptual issues, methodological challenges and policy implications in this area of study.

Questions that may be addressed include

  • What are the challenges and potential solutions in measuring wealth within households?
  • What are the recent trends and patterns of the gender wealth gap in a country-specific or a comparative perspective over time?
  • What are systematic gender (dis)advantages and to what extent do they explain wealth inequalities between men and women?
  • How do the differences in men’s and women’s life courses explain different wealth accumulation patterns?
  • How do individuals within couples define personal and joint wealth? To what extent is wealth becoming individualised and how does this affect gender inequality in wealth?
  • How and to what extent do partners share wealth? (including at the point of different life course events, such as divorce or separation)

The workshop will consist of individual presentations in thematically organised sessions, as well as additional networking sessions in which participants will have opportunities to connect and discuss future collaborations. Confirmed keynote speakers are Sofie R. Waltl (Assistant Professor, Vienna University of Economics and Business and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, LISER) and Céline Bessière (Professor, Université Paris-Dauphine).

Abstract submission

We invite early-career researchers using qualitative or quantitative methods in Social Policy, Sociology, Economics, Law, Psychology and related disciplines to submit abstracts (up to 500 words) for presentations at the workshop by 30 April 2020. You will be notified about the acceptance of your abstract by 1 June 2020. All participants are required to submit a full paper or current draft prior to the workshop. Please send your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and paper abstract to gender.wealth@gmail.com.

The workshop is free of charge. Participants are responsible for funding their own travel and accommodation costs. Financial assistance may be available for a limited number of participants. The workshop is funded by the European Consortium for Sociological Research (ECSR) Network Workshop Grant.

Organising committee

Ellie Suh (University of Oxford & CASE, London School of Economics), Nicole Kapelle (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & University of Queensland), Theresa Nutz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Daria Tisch (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Andreas Weiland (Universität Mannheim)