The individualisation of wealth: evidence from France

Nicolas Frémeaux, Université de Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas
Marion Leturcq, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Household wealth is composed of assets that are either held by single individuals or jointly by spouses. Using French detailed data on wealth, we decompose wealth along the dimension of individual/joint ownership status of assets. First, we show that wealth is getting more individualized in France over the 1998-2010 period: the share of individualized wealth has increased from 42.2% to 48.4% of the total wealth of households. This increase is explained by the increase in divorce rates, the diffusion of unmarried cohabitation and the increase in newlywed couples opting for a marital contract of separation of assets. Second, we show that the individualization of wealth is almost entirely driven by an increase in the individualized wealth of men, increasing the gender wealth gap in France.

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 Presented in Session 78. Family structure