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Couples and their money: patterns of accounting and accountability in the domestic economy

Jan Pahl (University of Kent at Canterbury, UK)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 1 October 2000



The financial arrangements of married and as‐married couples are examined in the light of ideas taken from the field of accounting and accountability. Data on couples and their money are drawn from the Family Expenditure Survey, and from focus groups and interviews. The data were collected in the course of a study on new forms of money, such as credit and debit cards, telephone and Internet banking. The results suggest that the accounting practices of couples are not necessarily consistent, but that they are meaningful. They are not consistent in that different parts of the intra‐household economy are likely to be subject to different types and levels of accountability. They are meaningful in that accounting practices reflect the economic position of the household, the relative incomes of husband and wife and fundamental aspects of their relationship. Banking arrangements, as they record financial history and map past and present relationships, offer a powerful guide to understanding wider issues within marriage and family life.



Pahl, J. (2000), "Couples and their money: patterns of accounting and accountability in the domestic economy", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 502-517.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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