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The Consumption Consequences of Couples Pooling Finances

Garbinsky, EN; Gladstone, JJ; (2019) The Consumption Consequences of Couples Pooling Finances. Journal of Consumer Psychology , 29 (3) pp. 353-369. 10.1002/jcpy.1083. Green open access

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Abstract

When couples decide to share their lives, they must also decide how to pool their finances. In this article, we ask: Does the type of bank account from which one spends (joint vs. separate) affect the type of products one chooses to buy (utilitarian vs. hedonic)? Real‐world evidence from analyzing bank transaction records (study 5), as well as data collected from experiments in the field (studies 1 and 2) and lab (studies 3 and 4), converge to support the hypothesis that couple members who spend from a joint bank account are more likely to choose utilitarian (vs. hedonic) products, than those who spend from a separate bank account. We find that these different spending patterns are driven by an increased need to justify spending to one's partner that is experienced when money is pooled together. If a hedonic product becomes easier to justify (study 4), the effect of account type on spending patterns disappears. These findings have important theoretical and practical implications for better understanding financial decision‐making within romantic couples.

Type: Article
Title: The Consumption Consequences of Couples Pooling Finances
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/jcpy.1083
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/jcpy.1083
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Consumer Spending, Romantic Relationships, Hedonic Consumption, Need for Justification, Interpersonal Decision-Making
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070465
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