Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Patterns of Money Management within Marriage*


Much social and economic policy is based upon units such as the tax unit or the household, and much of it makes certain assumptions about flows of resources within these units. This article focuses on the control and allocation of financial resources within households, drawing on work done in the past and on original material taken from a study of the problems of a group of women whose marriages had broken down because of violence. Concentrating on the household type which is composed of a married couple and their dependent children, the article outlines three broad types of allocation system – the whole wage system, the allowance system and the pooling system. It is suggested that there are links between the system of allocation within the family, the stage in the life cycle which the family has reached, the income level of the household, and the occupational, regional and ethnic culture within which the household is located. The article concludes by suggesting that a better knowledge of intra-household money flows would be relevant to discussion concerned with the distribution of poverty, the allocation of welfare benefits, and the contribution made by married women's earnings to family living standards, and that it would also contribute to a better understanding of marital tension and marital breakdown.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M. Young , ‘Distribution of Income within the Family’, British Journal of Sociology, 3 (1952), 303.

G. Rowntree , ‘The Finances of Founding a Family’, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 1:3 (1954), 201–32

A. Michel , ‘Comparative Data concerning the Interaction in French and American Families’, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 29 (1967), 337–44.

J. W. Scott and L. A. Tilly , ‘Women's Work and the Family in Nineteenth Century Europe’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 17 (1975), 49.

H. Land , ‘Social Security and the Division of Unpaid Work in the Home and Paid Employment in the Labour Market’, in DHSS, Social Security Research, HMSO, London, 1977.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Social Policy
  • ISSN: 0047-2794
  • EISSN: 1469-7823
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-social-policy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 28 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 612 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.