With populations aging rapidly in many developing nations, issues of economic dependency among the elderly are of increasing importance. Using data from a 1986 survey of the elderly on Java, Indonesia, I describe gender differences in economic well-being and identify characteristics associated with economic disadvantage. At both the individual and the household level, older women have fewer resources than older men. Even within categories of support (work income and remittances), women have lower levels of well-being. Gender differences in household-level economic well-being are due primarily to differences in household structure and in levels of skills. Gender differences in individual receipts (from all sources) are more complicated, but can be understood more clearly with reference to gender differences in skills levels (literacy, language, job skills), current work status and authority, and domestic authority.
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