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Gender Differences in Economic Support and Well-Being of Older Asians

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionOfstedal, Mary Beth, Erin Reidy, and John E. Knodel. 2003. "Gender Differences in Economic Support and Well-Being of Older Asians." PSC Research Report No. 03-540. 11 2003.

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of gender differences in economic support and well-being in eight countries in Southern and Eastern Asia (Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and Taiwan). We examine multiple economic indicators, including sources of income, receipt of financial and material support, income levels, ownership of assets, and subjective well-being. Results show substantial variation in gender differences across indicators and provide an important qualification to widely held views concerning the globally disadvantaged position of older women. Whereas men tend to report higher levels of income than women, there is generally little gender difference in housing characteristics, asset ownership, or reports of subjective economic well-being. Unmarried women are economically advantaged compared to unmarried men in some respects, in part because they are more likely to be embedded in multigenerational households and receive both direct and indirect forms of support from family members.

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