Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

When My Money Becomes Our Money: Changes in Couples’ Money Management

  • Yvonne Lott (a1)

Abstract

Conservative welfare state policies as in Germany often presume that money is a common resource within couples and, therefore, pooled. Research, however, indicates that money is increasingly managed separately or partly separately. This trend is either explained by the diversification of forms of relationships or interpreted as a general decline of the joint pooling of money. Contributing to this debate, this study investigates whether couples abandon independent money management when particular life events occur or when partners’ resources change. Data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for the years 2004, 2005 and 2008 are used. Panel analyses show that marriage leads to joint pooling or partly independent money management. An increase in women's incomes, however, is associated with independent money management. Women's wish for independence apparently contributes to the decline of the joint pool. The substantial prevalence of financial independence within couples calls into doubt the adequacy of German welfare state policies.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      When My Money Becomes Our Money: Changes in Couples’ Money Management
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      When My Money Becomes Our Money: Changes in Couples’ Money Management
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      When My Money Becomes Our Money: Changes in Couples’ Money Management
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Addabbo, T., Arrizabalaga, M.-P., Boderías, C. and Owens, A. (2010) ‘Introduction: households, gender and the production of well-being’, in Addabbo, T. (ed.), Gender Inequalities, Households and the Production of Well-Being in Modern Europe, Burlington, VT: Ashgate, pp. 324.
Allison, P. D. (2009) Fixed Effects Regression, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ashby, K. J. and Burgoyne, C. B. (2008) ‘Separate financial entities? Beyond categories of money management’, The Journal of Socio-Economics, 37, 2, 458–80.
Beck-Gernsheim, E. (1998) Was kommt nach der Familie?: alte Leitbilder und neue Lebensformen, Munich: Beck.
Bennett, F. (2013) ‘Researching within-household distribution: overview, developments, debates, and methodological challenges’, Journal of Marriage and Family, 75, 3, 582–97.
Bennett, F., De Henau, J., Himmelweit, S. and Sung, S. (2012) ‘Financial togetherness and autonomy within couples’, in Scott, J., Dex, S. and Plagnol, A. C. (eds.), Gendered Lives: Gender Inequalities in Production and Reproduction, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 97122.
Bisdee, D., Daly, T. and Price, D. (2013) ‘Behind closed doors: older couples and the gendered management of household money’, Social Policy and Society, 12, 1, 163–74.
Blumstein, P. and Schwartz, P. (1983) ‘Money and ideology: their impact on power and the division of household labor’, in Blumberg, R. L. (ed.), Gender, Family and Economy: The Triple Overlap, London: Sage, pp. 261–88.
Brückner, H. and Mayer, K. U. (2005) ‘De-standardization of the life-course: what it might mean? And if it means anything, whether it actually took place?’, Advances in Life Course Research, 9, 2753.
Burgoyne, C. B. (1990) ‘Money in marriage: how patterns of allocation both reflect and conceal power’, The Sociological Review, 38, 4, 634–65.
Burgoyne, C. B., Clarke, V., Reibstein, J. and Edmunds, A. (2006), ‘“All my worldly goods I share with you”? Managing money at the transition to heterosexual marriage’, The Sociological Review, 54, 4, 619–37.
Burgoyne, C. B., Reibstein, J., Edmunds, A. and Dolman, V. (2007) ‘Money management systems in early marriage: factors influencing change and stability’, Journal of Economic Psychology, 28, 2, 214–28.
Burgoyne, C. B., Reibstein, J., Edmunds, A. M. and Routh, D. A. (2010) ‘Marital commitment, money and marriage preparation: what changes after the wedding’, Journal of Community and Applied Psychology, 20, 5, 390403.
De Henau, J. and Himmelweit, S. (2013) ‘Unpacking within-household gender differences in partners’ subjective benefits from household income’, Journal for Marriage and Family, 75, 3, 611–24.
Elizabeth, V. (2001) ‘Managing money, managing coupledom: a critical examination of cohabitants’ money management practices’, The Sociological Review, 49, 3, 389411.
Esping-Andersen, G. (2006) ‘ Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism ’, in Pierson, C. and Castles, F. G. (eds.), The Welfare State Reader, Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 160–73.
Fleming, R. (1997) The Common Purse: Income Sharing in New Zealand Families, Auckland: Auckland University Press.
Haisken-DeNew, J. P. and Frick, J. (2005) Desktop Companion to the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), Berlin: DIW Berlin.
Heimdal, K. and Houseknecht, S. (2003) ‘Cohabiting and married couples’ income organization: approaches in Sweden and the United States’, Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 3, 525–38.
Kenny, D. A., Kashy, D. A. and Cook, W. L. (2006) Dyadic Data Analysis, New York: Guilford Press.
Knudsen, K. and Waerness, K. (2009) ‘Shared or separate? Money management and changing norms of gender equality among Norwegian couples’, Community, Work and Family, 12, 1, 3955.
Lauer, S. R. and Yodanis, C. (2011) ‘Individualized marriage and the integration of resources’, Journal of Marriage and Family, 73, 3, 669–83.
Laurie, H. and Gershuny, J. (2000) ‘Couples, work and money’, in Gershuny, J. and Berthoud, R. (eds.), Seven Years in the Lives of British Families: Evidence on the Dynamics of Social Change from the British Household Panel Survey, Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 4572.
Lewis, J. (1992) ‘Gender and the development of welfare regimes’, Journal of European Social Policy, 2, 3, 159–73.
Lewis, J. (2009a) ‘Balancing “time to work” and “time to care”: policy issues and the implications for mothers, fathers and children’, Child and Family Law Quarterly, 21, 4, 443–61.
Lewis, J. (2009b) Work–Family Balance, Gender and Policy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Lott, Y. (2009) ‘Verwaltung und Entscheidung – Bestimmt das individuelle Einkommen die Machtverteilung in Paarbeziehungen?’, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 61, 3, 327–53.
Mayer, K. U. (2001) ‘The paradox of global social change and national path dependencies’, in Woodward, A. and Kohli, M. (eds.), Inclusion and Exclusion in European Societies, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 89110.
McRae, S. (1987) ‘The allocation of money in cross-class families’, The Sociological Review, 35, 1, 97122.
Miles, J. and Probert, R. (2009) Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets: An Inter-Disciplinary Study, Oxford: Hart.
Nyman, C. (1999) ‘Gender equality in the most equal country in the world? Money and marriage in Sweden’, The Sociological Review, 47, 4, 766–93.
OECD (2013) OECD Labour Force Statistics 2013, Paris: OECD, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/oecd_ifs-2013-en.
Pahl, J. (1983) ‘The allocation of money and structuring of inequality within marriage’, The Sociological Review, 31, 2, 237–62.
Pahl, J. (1989) Money and Marriage, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Pahl, J. (1995) ‘His money, her money: recent research on financial organisation in marriage’, Journal of Economic Psychology, 16, 3, 361–76.
Pahl, J. (2005) ‘Individualisation in couples finances: who pays for the children?’, Social Policy and Society, 4, 4, 381–91.
Safilios-Rothschild, C. (1976) ‘A macro- and micro-examination of family power and love: an exchange model’, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 2, 355–62.
Sainsbury, D. (1999) ‘Gender and social-democratic welfare states’, in Sainsbury, D. (ed.), Gender and Welfare State Regimes, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 7698.
Schunck, R. (2013) ‘Within and between estimates in random-effects models: advantages and drawbacks of correlated random effects and hybrid models’, The Stata Journal, 13, 1, 6576.
Singh, S. and Lindsay, J. (1996) ‘Money in heterosexual relationships’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology, 32, 3, 5569.
Stocks, J., Díaz Martínez, C. and Halleröd, B. (2007) Modern Couples Sharing Money, Sharing Life, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Vogler, C. (1998) ‘Money in households: some underlying issues of power’, The Sociological Review, 46, 4, 687713.
Vogler, C. (2005) ‘Cohabiting couples: rethinking money in the household at the beginning of the twenty-first century’, The Sociological Review, 53, 1, 129.
Vogler, C. (2009) ‘Managing money in intimate relationships: similarities and differences between cohabiting and married couples’, in Miles, J. and Probert, R. (eds.), Sharing Lives, Dividing Assets: An Inter-Disciplinary Study, Oxford: Portland, pp. 6187.
Vogler, C. and Pahl, J. (1993) ‘Social and economic change and the organisation of money within marriage’, Work, Employment and Society, 7, 1, 7195.
Vogler, C. and Pahl, J. (1994) ‘Money, power and inequality within marriage’, The Sociological Review, 42, 2, 263–88.
Vogler, C., Brockmann, M. and Wiggins, R. D. (2006) ‘Intimate relationship and changing patterns of money management at the beginning of the twenty-first century’, The British Journal of Sociology, 57, 3, 455–82.
Vogler, C., Brockmann, M. and Wiggins, R. D. (2008) ‘Managing money in new heterosexual forms of intimate relationships’, The Journal of Socio-Economics, 37, 2, 552–76.
Zelizer, V. (1994) The Social Meaning of Money, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Zelizer, V. (2005) The Purchase of Intimacy, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Recommend this journal

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

Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

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

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed