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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Sociology of Social Policy

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Department of Social Sciences | Sociology of Social Policy | News | Peer-reviewed article published in European Sociological Review [25.02.2020]

Peer-reviewed article published in European Sociological Review [25.02.2020]

The journal article “The Accumulation of Wealth in Marriage: Over-Time Change and Within-Couple Inequalities” by Nicole Kapelle and Philipp Lersch was published in the European Sociological Review (ESR). The study examines the accumulation of personal wealth of husbands and wives and investigates the development of within-couple wealth inequalities over time in marriage. Going beyond previous research, the paper conceptualized entry into marriage as a gendered life-course event that dynamically shapes husbands’ and wives’ wealth accumulation. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (2002 - 2017) and fixed-effects regression models, the paper illustrates that wealth premiums are lower during early years of marriage, but increase steadily thereafter. Results from supplementary analyses with limited data, however, suggest that the premium may not be causal for men. Regarding within-couple wealth inequalities, the paper finds a pronounced within-couple wealth gap prior to marriage, which remains stable over time in marriage. In contrast to findings regarding income, the study indicates that the institution of marriage may not amplify within-couple wealth inequalities further.