Skip to content

Journal Article

Changing patterns in the allocation of savings, investments and debts within couple relationships


Publication date

May 2014


Using data from the British Household Panel Study (BHPS) from 1995 to 2005 we examine the nature of the allocation of savings, investments and debts between heterosexual couple members, how these vary by individual and household characteristics, and how these patterns vary over a ten-year time horizon. We find savings are more commonly held in joint names than investments or debts and there is evidence of an increasing independence in financial arrangements between couple members throughout the period 1995 to 2005. Controlling for age and other factors, cohabitation reduces the likelihood of shared financial arrangements. Both partners' labour market income affects the likelihood of having any savings or investments for both men and women but as men's labour income increases, the likelihood of men having jointly held savings and investments with their female partner reduces. Psychological well-being is improved where individuals have any savings or investments either solely or jointly held with their partner.

Published in

Sociological Review

Volume and page numbers

62 , 335 -358





Savings And Assets and Sociology Of Households



Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*


Research home

Research home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest