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Financial affairs? Money management in same-sex relationships


  • Burns, Maree
  • Burgoyne, Carole
  • Clarke, Victoria


The present paper offers a qualitative analysis of how 22 co-habiting same-sex couples manage and think about their finances. Results show that partial-pooling and independent management are the most popular systems with emphasis placed on egalitarianism and devising a fair money management strategy. Significant income disparities between most partners necessitated the adoption of a system of proportional contributions to joint expenses. Despite attempts to equalise outcomes, an underlying norm of equality (characterised by equal contributions) paradoxically (re)produced the status and control of the higher earner in most cases. A degree of financial autonomy was an important ideal highlighting a valuing of co-independence rather than financial 'merging' for lesbian and gay couples.

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  • Burns, Maree & Burgoyne, Carole & Clarke, Victoria, 2008. "Financial affairs? Money management in same-sex relationships," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 481-501, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:2:p:481-501

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. V. Lee Badgett, 1995. "Gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation: All in the feminist family?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 121-139.
    2. Pahl, Jan, 1995. "His money, her money: Recent research on financial organisation in marriage," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 361-376, September.
    3. Burgoyne, Carole B. & Reibstein, Janet & Edmunds, Anne & Dolman, Valda, 2007. "Money management systems in early marriage: Factors influencing change and stability," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 214-228, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ashby, Katherine J. & Burgoyne, Carole. B., 2009. "The financial practices and perceptions behind separate systems of household financial management," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 519-529, June.
    2. Lars Evertsson & Charlott Nyman, 2014. "Perceptions and Practices in Independent Management: Blurring the Boundaries Between “Mine,” “Yours” and “Ours”," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 65-80, March.
    3. Bernadette Kamleitner & Bianca Hornung & Erich Kirchler, 2010. "Over-indebtedness and the interplay of factual and mental money management: An interview study," Working Papers 34, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    4. Sonnenberg, Stefanie J. & Burgoyne, Carole B. & Routh, David A., 2011. "Income disparity and norms relating to intra-household financial organisation in the UK: A dimensional analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 573-582.
    5. Ashby, Katherine J. & Burgoyne, Carole B., 2008. "Separate financial entities?: Beyond categories of money management," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 458-480, April.

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