سیستم های مدیریت پول در ازدواج زودهنگام : عوامل مؤثر بر تغییر و ثبات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|6382||2007||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Economic Psychology, Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2007, Pages 214–228
We know little about how couples develop their systems of money management, nor how and why these might change over time. To address these lacunae, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 42 heterosexual couples before their first marriage and again one year later. A Grounded Theory analysis was used to explore financial practices and how individuals approached monetary issues. Before the wedding the majority had rather independent monetary arrangements, but a year later, some had moved to more collective systems. Factors influencing change or stability in financial arrangements were both pragmatic (having to respond to major expenses such as house purchase or a new baby) and ideological (e.g., the relative importance of autonomy or sharing within the marriage). But an over-riding factor was perceived ownership of income and other assets. Those choosing more separation in money matters did so in order to maintain their financial identity and autonomy. However, there was evidence that such systems can sow the seeds of inequality later if women curtail their employment to provide childcare.
A growing body of research has provided important information into the way that married and remarried couples manage their money and has elucidated some of the reasons for the various systems adopted (e.g., Burgoyne, 2004, Burgoyne and Morison, 1997, Kirchler et al., 2001, Kooreman and Wunderink, 1996, Pahl, 1989 and Pahl, 1995). Work has also begun to investigate the financial practices of same sex couples (Burns, Burgoyne, & Clarke, 2006; see also Blumstein and Schwartz, 1983 and Dunne, 1997) and heterosexual cohabiting couples (Elizabeth, 2001 and Vogler, 2005). The results from the earlier studies, using a range of different approaches, show that, despite a rhetoric of equality and sharing in heterosexual marriage, men tend to have more say in economic decision making and readier access to financial resources than their wives, especially when the latter are providing most or all of the childcare (Pahl, 1995). For those women who take a minimum of time out of the labour market, the impact of motherhood on their incomes may be negligible (cf. Lundberg & Rose, 2000). However, women who interrupt their careers to provide childcare may find a worsening situation over time as their labour-market human capital (Becker, 1991) tends to diminish in comparison with that of their husbands ( James, 1996 and Webley et al., 2001). When such women return to the labour market it is often at a lower status and income level, and if the marriage breaks down, these disadvantages tend to be compounded (James, 1996). The prevalence of inequality within marriage seems at odds with popular expectations of sharing and equality in marriage (cf. Burgoyne & Routh, 2001) and raises questions of how and why couples come to adopt certain financial practices. Earlier attempts to investigate such issues with established married and remarried couples failed since few respondents can remember how they made their financial decisions at the beginning (cf. Burgoyne, 1990 and Burgoyne and Morison, 1997). The data for the present paper are drawn from a longitudinal study of money management, commitment and marriage preparation funded by the Lord Chancellor’s Department (a former UK Government Department). One of the aims of the study was to identify the factors influencing the way that couples dealt with money before the wedding and during the first year, and to explore possible links between money management and couples’ views of their commitment to the relationship. An additional aim was to explore whether money management reflects couples’ expectations of marriage and their roles within it. Detailed findings concerning money management before the wedding (at Time 1) are reported in full in Burgoyne, Clarke, Reibstein, and Edmunds (in press). The aim of the present paper is to trace any changes over the first year of marriage and to identify the likely causes and consequences of such changes. To provide a context for the present research, the next section reviews some of the findings of earlier work. 1.1. Money in marriage Modern western views of marriage imply a partnership of equals (Reibstein & Richards, 1993) and achieving fairness, typically defined as equality, is certainly an aspiration for young unmarried men and women (Burgoyne & Routh, 2001). However, when children arrive, many heterosexual couples adhere to the traditional roles of male breadwinner and female carer. They do so not just for the sake of tradition (though that is certainly a factor) but because it makes sense for each individual couple to adhere to this pattern when male earnings are (typically) higher than women’s and the latter bear the children. This accords with Becker’s (1973) model of women investing primarily in domestic capital since they have a ‘comparative advantage’ in bearing and caring for children. Becker’s thesis is that marriage offers gains in trade by means of specialised human capital, the sharing of public goods (e.g., the family home) and economies of scale. Thus, it is a rational use of human capital for individual utility-maximisers. However, Becker has been criticised for ignoring a great many factors that constrain the choices of real couples, such as the typically lower wage rates for women, and normative expectations about who will provide childcare (Bergmann, 1986 and Bergmann, 1995; see also Webley et al., 2001, pp. 79–82). In addition, the traditional division of labour in heterosexual marriage exposes women to economic risk. This is a recurrent finding from a variety of research perspectives (e.g., James, 1996, Elizabeth, 2001, Pahl, 1989, Pahl, 1995 and Vogler, 2005). Men are more likely to start off with greater earnings than their wives and are more likely to become the principal breadwinners when a couple has children. More privilege is often attached to the breadwinning role and this results in men, typically, having a greater say about the use of money and more unquestioned right to money for personal spending (PSM). Women who are not contributing financially tend to restrict spending on themselves and to feel guilty if they use what they regard as ‘family’ money (Burgoyne, 2004, Pahl, 1995 and Webley et al., 2001). The resulting disparity can result in a lower standard of living for wives than husbands within the same household, and less say in decision making. It can also make women financially vulnerable in a situation where nearly one half of marriages end in divorce. Thus, despite a public rhetoric depicting western marriage as a partnership of equals (Reibstein & Richards, 1993) few seem to achieve this ideal in practice. The style of money management adopted by a couple may allow ‘market forces’ to enter the household to a greater or lesser extent. As we see below, even when a couple wishes to achieve equality of access to resources, certain financial practices may make this more difficult. The main categories of management were developed by Pahl (1989) as follows: (1) The whole wage system where one person, more often the wife, manages all the finances of the household, except for the personal spending money of their partner. Where a male whole wage system is in operation, this can leave the wife with no access to money without permission. (2) The allowance system where, more usually, the man as main breadwinner, provides an allowance for household expenditure while retaining a sometimes undisclosed amount for other kinds of expenditure, including his own use. (3) The pooling or shared management system, where all, or nearly all of household income is held collectively and both partners, in principle, play a role in management and financial decision making. (4) The independent management system, characterized by individual control over own income and separate responsibility for expenditure. Neither partner has access to all of the household money. In the UK in recent decades there has been a shift away from more traditional forms of management, such as allowance and whole wage systems towards various types of pooling (e.g., around 50% of married couples use the latter at any one time; Laurie & Rose, 1994). However, pooling does not always represent an egalitarian arrangement, as one partner may exercise more control over expenditure from the pooled money than the other: Vogler and Pahl (1994) found that couples may have ‘female’, ‘joint’, and ‘male managed’ pooling, with only 40% of these arrangements appearing to be ‘joint’ in practice. Also, diverting resources from the father to the mother (e.g., benefits for children) has a positive effect upon child welfare (Lundberg & Pollak, 1996). There are a number of possible explanations for the findings outlined above: First, the source of household income is difficult to ignore, even when partners are actively trying to treat the money as a collective resource, and this can apply even when a joint account is used ( Burgoyne, 1990 and Burgoyne and Lewis, 1994). The well-known endowment effect where a good is ‘worth more when it is considered as something that could be lost or given up than when it is evaluated as a potential gain’ (Kahneman, 2003, p. 705) may play a role in this situation. Loewenstein and Issacharoff (1994) showed that a good is valued more highly (in dollar amounts) when it has been ‘earned’ by exemplary performance on a test, than when it has been acquired by chance or lack of success at a task, a finding the authors attributed to ‘source-dependent’ effects. The sense of loss associated with handing over one’s hard-earned income may contribute to the finding that an individual who has earned the money, or has made the larger contribution, is often deemed to have more right to control and spend it. Similarly, a partner contributing little or nothing to the household income may feel a lack of entitlement or even guilt about spending household money on themselves, even when encouraged to do so (Burgoyne, 1990). Next, the level of income can have an influence. There is an important distinction between day-to-day management and strategic control, with the non-earning or lower-earning partner (especially when this is the woman) more likely to have the task of routine management. At lower income levels, this involves trying to make ends meet whilst the earner may retain the right to set overall priorities about spending. At higher income levels, men are often seen as having the relevant expertise, and hence more say, in long-term financial planning. Regardless of the system of money management, men also tend to have overall control when they are the main breadwinners ( Pahl, 1989 and Wilson, 1987). Another source of influence is whether or not the couple have a traditional or ‘modern’ view of marriage and marital roles (cf. Reibstein & Richards, 1993). The man is more likely to have the final say or to set the financial agenda, either overtly or implicitly, in couples with a more traditional role division (Burgoyne, 1990). Expectations and degree of commitment to the relationship may be another factor: for example, if there are doubts about the long-term health of the relationship, then couples may avoid merging their finances in order to make it easier if they decide to separate (cf. studies of second marriages, e.g., Burgoyne and Morison, 1997 and Fleming and Atkinson, 1999). Finally, there is some evidence of gender-associated views of distributive justice, with men more likely to endorse an equity norm (in which rewards are proportional to contribution) and women more likely to aim for equality (where outcomes are equal regardless of contribution). Money seems to enter this calculation in a more salient way than non-financial contributions to the marriage (Burgoyne & Lewis, 1994). A combination of these and other factors, such as the lack in the UK of affordable childcare, can leave women in a weaker financial position than their partners, with a reduced role in economic decision making and less entitlement to personal spending money (Burgoyne, 2004, James, 1996 and Pahl, 1989). Thus, theorists studying family economics have moved away from common preference models and an assumption of income pooling towards the use of various types of bargaining models which take into account the potentially divergent interests of husband and wife (cf. Lundberg & Pollak, 1996). The earlier research has given us some insight into the money management of established married and remarried couples, but tells us little about how people start off, nor whether today’s newly-weds are influenced by such factors as source and level of income, the division of household labour and so on. For example, do new couples believe that money should be a collective resource, or are they more concerned with maintaining some measure of financial independence with each partner responsible for their own financial welfare? This is an important question because there have been calls to extend the recent UK same sex partnerships legislation (Civil Partnership Act, 2004) to heterosexual cohabiting couples, and the UK Law Commission is actively considering this. UK Family Law is based on a presumption of mutual support in marriage and makes husbands and wives and Civil Partners financially responsible for each other. It leaves unspecified the level of such support, except to say that it should be ‘reasonable provision’. However, policy assumptions about mutual financial responsibility and welfare may be out of step with current practices. In the past, wives’ financial dependence on their husband was largely taken for granted (Pahl, 1989) but recent trends, such as the rapid increase in non-married cohabitation, delay of first marriage (Ermisch and Francesconi, 2000 and National Statistics, 2004) and later childbearing (Wunderink, 1995) mean that expectations may have changed. Those now entering marriage are more likely to be dual-earner couples with perhaps a different view about the nature and permanence of marriage and of their roles within it. For example, today’s young women may expect a greater degree of financial independence within marriage than has been the case for previous generations. Although a recent study with unmarried undergraduates indicated that young men and women still believe pooling is the best way to achieve fairness and equality in marriage (Burgoyne & Routh, 2001), we do not know how these decisions are actually made in practice by the wider population of newly-weds and cohabiting couples. What influences their financial choices, and what factors precipitate change? These are the main questions addressed in the present paper.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has identified some of the factors influencing money management at the point of marriage and reveals two snapshots of money management systems in transition. Our findings at Time 1 differed from those of previous research with longer-established couples (e.g., Laurie and Rose, 1994 and Vogler and Pahl, 1994). The present sample at Time 1 were predominantly dual-income couples without children. Only three couples were using Whole Wage systems before the wedding and only one couple was still using that system a year later. No couple was using an Allowance system at either time, though one couple indicated that they might adopt that system when they started a family. We were surprised that so few couples had already started pooling their money at Time 1, especially as it had received such strong endorsement in Burgoyne and Routh’s (2001) study of young adults and is the most common form of money management in the UK (Laurie & Rose, 1994). Only five of our 42 couples were pooling at Time 1, yet the majority had already been cohabiting for varying amounts of time prior to the wedding. A year after the wedding, the number of couples pooling their money had tripled and now comprised more than a third of the sample. Many of those who had started with IM had moved to pooling part of their incomes for joint expenses. What accounts for these changes? One reason appears to be purely pragmatic: in many cases it seems that systems gradually evolve in response to purely economic factors such as the need to pool resources for major expenses of buying a house or starting a family. However, this is only part of picture: views of marriage and of the individual roles within the relationship also seem to play a role. Thus, if partners place a great deal of value on having freedom and independence, including the right to control their own earnings, then they are more likely to keep all of their money separately, or to pool only enough for joint expenses. Such couples anticipate little further change in management style over time. This may account for the relatively large proportion of our sample who were using partial-pooling or IM at both points in time. However, even these couples are not immune to prevalent norms concerning sharing in marriage. Many of those keeping substantial amounts of their money under their own control were also keen to emphasise that the money was available for both partners should the need arise. Maintaining the visibility of earned income and the right to decide when it could be used for collective purposes seemed to be important to maintain a separate sense of financial identity within the marriage. However, there was a down-side to maintaining such visibility: not contributing financially also becomes more visible and this had implications for the few women who could see this looming ahead. Even for those who intended to return to their careers after maternity leave, there was likely to be a period when they could not contribute financially on an equal basis. They anticipated future difficulties, and some women, especially those with more separate financial arrangements, had already started taking steps to avoid dependency or having to ask for PSM when they started a family. In contrast, those who stressed the sharing and merging of identities represented by a more traditional view of marriage were more likely either to start with a pooling system, or to move towards a more collective scheme over time. But even amongst couples with a shared view of money there were some for whom it was important to ‘pay their way’, or at least make a reasonable contribution to collective expenses proportional to their earnings, to avoid being seen as a dependent or a less than equal partner. Our participants exemplify the moral dilemmas identified by Gerson (2002, pp. 12–14) in attempting to achieve a balance between commitment and self-reliance in today’s more fluid and ‘voluntary’ relationships. As Pahl, 2005 and Elizabeth, 2001 have also commented, there are inescapable tensions in trying to balance the competing desires for financial autonomy vs. equality when there is disparity in partners’ incomes. A couple’s choice of financial system may ameliorate this tension, but it is unlikely to resolve it completely. Indeed, the present findings suggest that attempts to preserve separate ownership and financial identity in the early stages of marriage may risk sowing the seeds of inequality at a later stage.