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Marriage Stability and Private Versus Shared Expenditures Within Families: Evidence from Japanese Families

Xiangdan Piao ()
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Xiangdan Piao: Kyushu University

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2021, vol. 153, issue 2, No 6, 533-559

Abstract: Abstract Previous studies have identified the negative impacts of an increase in the proportion of a wife’s income to the couple’s combined income, as well as of the gap in housework/childcare, on the stability of a marriage, increasing the likelihood of divorce. However, the intrahousehold mechanism is still inconclusive in terms of this issue. In the present study, we investigated a potential alternative mechanism, following the gender identity framework and the collective model and using longitudinal survey data from 1993 to 2015 from the Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers (JPSC). The findings showed that an increase in a wife’s share of the couple income increased her relative bargaining power and had a significant influence on intrahousehold reallocations of income/time. These intrahousehold reallocations, in turn, had a negative impact on the stability of the marriage. In couples with high-income wives, the husbands transferred their incomes to their wives, and the wives undertook the majority of the housework. In other words, a higher housework burden among wives was associated with regular income transfers from husbands to wives. Meanwhile, despite increases in wives’ income shares, both husbands and wives contributed to the family through reallocations of income/time in order to maintain marriage stability.

Keywords: Intrahousehold allocation; Marriage stability; Japan; Longitudinal data; Gender identity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 J12 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s11205-020-02498-2

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