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

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

May 15, 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

Volume: 62 , p.335 -358






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