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Disagreement in 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 only weak evidence that information asymmetries explain couple 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.

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File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP520.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 520.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:520
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  1. Ted Bergstrom, 1994. "A Survey of Theories of the Family," Labor and Demography 9401001, EconWPA, revised 10 Oct 1994.
  2. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Nolan, Brian & Whelan, Christopher T., 2011. "Poverty and Deprivation in Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199588435, March.
  6. 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.
  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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Kurt Bauman, 1999. "Shifting family definitions: The effect of cohabitation and other nonfamily household relationships on measures of poverty," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 315-325, August.
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