Pooling of Economic Resources : a Comparison of Norwegian Married and Cohabiting Couples


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European Sociological Review; 27 (5)


Oxford University Press

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Using Norwegian survey data (n=4116), we study couples’ likelihood of pooling their economic resources. The proportion of cohabiting couples to married couples is high in Norway. In addition, over the last decades, tax policy and the social security system have moved in the direction of equating cohabitation with marriage. Our knowledge about the ways in which these two different kinds of couples organize their economic resources is, however, rather limited. Our main hypothesis is that cohabiting couples are less likely to pool their economic resources than married couples, but that this difference is less if they have plans to marry. We take into account important factors that have largely been ignored in many earlier studies, i.e. the presence of children and the duration of the relationship. The results confirm our hypothesis but also show that the difference between cohabiting couples and married couples is reduced once controls are in place for these important factors. Implications for policy are discussed.



Postprint. This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in European Sociological Review following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcq028.

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  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/545