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Gender Differences in Attitudes Toward Debt and Financial Position: The Impact of the Great Recession

Mary Hansen and Julie Routzahn

No 2014-10, Working Papers from American University, Department of Economics

Abstract: We use the 2007 and 2010 Surveys of Consumer Finances (SCF) and a difference-in-differences approach to investigate whether the Great Recession differentially affected the attitudes of men and women towards taking on debt, as well as whether it affected the relative financial position of women. In order to separate the influence of gender per se from the influences of household composition and intra-household bargaining, we compare never-married women to never-married men. We also compare never-married women to all households. We find that the Great Recession gave never-married women the confidence to use debt to mitigate short-term threats to living standards while making them more cautious about taking on debt for non-essentials. The financial position of women in 2010 improved relative to the position of men and relative to all households.

Keywords: Gender; attitudes towards debt; household debt; Great Recession; feminist methods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B54 D12 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme
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Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:2014-10