Megan Ford, a doctoral student in financial planning, housing and consumer economics in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, was quoted in U.S. News & World Report about gender dynamics and financial health.
According to research from the U.S. Census Bureau, when a woman makes more than her husband, both spouses fix the numbers in favor of the man when they report to the U.S. Census. On average, husbands report earnings 2.9 percent higher than what appears on their tax filings, and wives undercut their wages by 1.5 percent. The report attributed these earnings reports to Americans’ desire to be considered normal by society’s standards. A 2015 University of Chicago study found that in relationships where the wife earns more than the husband, the couple is more likely to have discord and end up divorcing.
“A wife who earns more may feel pressured to protect her partner’s feelings about his own position in the household by inflating his monetary contributions since this would be the typical means through which a man might provide for a family from a historical view,” said Ford, who works at UGA’s ASPIRE Clinic. “It doesn’t mean it’s wrong or right. It’s just a remnant of changing couples and families and a changing society.”