Division of Financial Responsibility within Mixed-Gender Couples

General Information

Division of Financial Responsibility within Mixed-Gender Couples
Marcin Hitczenko
Publication Type
Journal paper
Journal of Family and Economic Issues
This paper studies the dynamics of financial responsibility division within mixed-gender couples. Analysis is based on individuals’ self-assessments of their own contribution to four household activities collected in the Survey of Consumer Payment Choice. A series of logistic regressions link reported roles from 3728 households to respondent gender and six household characteristics, representing aggregate and relative attributes with respect to age, education, and income. A second, longitudinally-based analysis relates reported contribution levels in subsequent survey years to changes in household income dynamics. For bill payments, the data are consistent with a bargaining model in which relative income rankings, more so than other household variables, relate to responsibility shares. For decisions about saving and investments and decisions on other financial matters, in addition to income rank, there is also some evidence that greater relative educational attainment coincides with greater responsibility shares. For household shopping, however, tendencies in household role assignment seem predominantly driven by gender considerations. Females across all household types consistently do more of the shopping, and females are much more likely to increase their contribution, even when they become the primary earner.