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Income distribution and financial satisfaction between spouses in Europe

  • Bonke, Jens

The article analyses the distribution of income between spouses and the consequences for their financial satisfaction within different welfare regimes. We find that the financial satisfaction of husbands declines and that the financial satisfaction of wives increases the more a wife earns relative to her husband. However, the relationships are often of an inversed U-shaped form for both sexes, with men achieving the highest satisfaction at an earlier stage than women. Within the Scandinavian welfare state regime this optimal distribution is found closer to the actual income distribution than in the continental European and liberal regimes, and in the southern European regime the optimal distribution is far from being achieved.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 2291-2303

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:6:p:2291-2303
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  1. Martin Browning & Mette Gortz, 2006. "Spending time and money within the household," Economics Series Working Papers 288, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  3. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  4. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  5. Senik, Claudia, 2004. "When information dominates comparison: Learning from Russian subjective panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2099-2123, August.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
  7. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  8. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
  9. Edward N. Wolff & Ajit Zacharias, 2003. "The Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_372, Levy Economics Institute.
  10. Andrew E. Clark & Fabrice Etilé & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Claudia Senik & Karine Van der Straeten, 2004. "Heterogeneity in reported well-being: evidence from twelve european countries," DELTA Working Papers 2004-01, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  11. Jens Bonke & Hans Uldall-Poulsen, 2007. "Why do families actually pool their income? Evidence from Denmark," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 113-128, June.
  12. Phipps, S.A. & Burton, P.S., 1992. "What's Mine is Yours?: The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 92-12, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  13. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
  14. Jens Bonke & Mette Deding & Mette Lausten, 2009. "Time and Money," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 113-131, April.
  15. Marjorie B. McElroy, 1990. "The Empirical Content of Nash-Bargained Household Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 559-583.
  16. Jens Bonke & Martin Browning, 2003. "The Distribution of Well-Being and Income within the Household," CAM Working Papers 2003-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
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