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Disagreement in Australian partners’ reports of financial difficulty

  • Robert Breunig

    ()

  • Deborah Cobb-Clark
  • Xiaodong Gong
  • Danielle Venn

We use unique data in which both partners report about household finances to demonstrate that there is often disagreement about whether the household has experienced financial difficulty in the past year. Four alternative explanations for this disagreement are tested using the data. The results indicate that disagreement may be related to the severity of the underlying material hardship rather than to gender differences or individual (as opposed to household) views of financial difficulty. We find limited evidence that for some couples information asymmetries contribute to explaining disagreement about financial difficulty. This implies that standard surveys which collect information about the household’s financial position from a representative individual may fail to completely characterize the nature of material hardship. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11150-007-9005-2
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 5 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 59-82

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:5:y:2007:i:1:p:59-82
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=109451

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  1. Plug, Erik J. S. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1998. "Similarity in response behavior between household members: An application to income evaluation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 497-513, August.
  2. Bergstrom, Theodore C., 1993. "A survey of theories of the family," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 21-79 Elsevier.
  3. Zagorsky, Jay L., 2003. "Husbands' and wives' view of the family finances," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 127-146, May.
  4. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
  5. Gianni La Cava & John Simon, 2003. "A Tale of Two Surveys: Household Debt and Financial Constraints in Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2003-08, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  6. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
  7. Susan E. Mayer & Christopher Jencks, 1989. "Poverty and the Distribution of Material Hardship," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 88-114.
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