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Does Earning More Than Your Spouse Increase Your Financial Satisfaction? A Comparison of Men and Women in the United States, 1982 to 2012

Does Earning More Than Your Spouse Increase Your Financial Satisfaction? A Comparison of Men and... Scholars have argued that both husbands and wives are less satisfied if wives outearn their husbands because this violates the norms of the male breadwinner model. Some scholars find support for this hypothesis when studying the division of household work, marital dissolution, or depression, but other scholars do not find clear evidence. This article adds to this literature by asking how people’s roles in bringing money into the household (as a primary or secondary earner) affect how they feel about that money itself. Analysis of decades of U.S. data finds a clear and consistent result: individuals—whether men or women, whether committed to the male breadwinner model or not—are all more satisfied with their family’s financial situation when they earn more than their spouse. Here, generic social psychological processes (like relative deprivation) appear to trump even powerful worldviews, like the male breadwinner model. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Family Issues SAGE

Does Earning More Than Your Spouse Increase Your Financial Satisfaction? A Comparison of Men and Women in the United States, 1982 to 2012

Journal of Family Issues , Volume 38 (17): 29 – Dec 1, 2017

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References (83)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2016
ISSN
0192-513X
eISSN
1552-5481
DOI
10.1177/0192513X16638384
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Scholars have argued that both husbands and wives are less satisfied if wives outearn their husbands because this violates the norms of the male breadwinner model. Some scholars find support for this hypothesis when studying the division of household work, marital dissolution, or depression, but other scholars do not find clear evidence. This article adds to this literature by asking how people’s roles in bringing money into the household (as a primary or secondary earner) affect how they feel about that money itself. Analysis of decades of U.S. data finds a clear and consistent result: individuals—whether men or women, whether committed to the male breadwinner model or not—are all more satisfied with their family’s financial situation when they earn more than their spouse. Here, generic social psychological processes (like relative deprivation) appear to trump even powerful worldviews, like the male breadwinner model.

Journal

Journal of Family IssuesSAGE

Published: Dec 1, 2017

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