A core assumption in conventional poverty measurement is that household members share equally in total household income. This paper focuses on heterosexual couple households and asks to what extent male and female partners may derive different benefits from total couple resources. Drawing on the 2010 Irish Survey on Income and Living Conditions module, we examined the couple financial regime, by which we mean which partners received income, whether the income was from work, the extent to which income was contributed for the benefit of other household members and responsibility for decisionmaking. We explored whether the couple’s financial regime was associated with different living standard outcomes for the partners. Among the findings was the beneficial impact of having income from work and of shared responsibility for decision-making. The paper concludes by pointing to some implications for our understanding of power and bargaining in couples.
- intra-household inequality
- gender inequality
- household financial management
- income pooling