Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1339240
 
 

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Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction: Spendthrifts and Tightwads in Marriage


Scott Rick


The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Deborah A. Small


University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department; Carnegie Mellon University

Eli Finkel


Northwestern University - Department of Psychology

January 22, 2010

Journal of Marketing Research

Abstract:     
Although much research finds that “birds of a feather flock together,” the present research suggests that opposites tend to attract when it comes to certain spending tendencies. That is, “tightwads,” who generally spend less than they would ideally like to spend, and “spendthrifts,” who generally spend more than they would ideally like to spend, tend to marry each other, consistent with the notion that people are attracted to mates who possess characteristics dissimilar to those they deplore in themselves (Klohnen and Mendelsohn 1998). In spite of this complementary attraction, tightwad/spendthrift differences within a marriage predict conflict over finances, which in turn predict diminished marital well-being. These relationships persist when controlling for important financial outcomes (household-level savings and credit card debt). These findings underscore the importance of studying the relationships between money, consumption, and happiness at an interpersonal level.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: spending, money, tightwad, spendthrift, marriage, attraction, marital satisfaction, marketing, consumer behavior, individual differences

JEL Classification: M31, C91

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Date posted: February 7, 2009 ; Last revised: April 11, 2012

Suggested Citation

Rick, Scott and Small, Deborah A. and Finkel, Eli, Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction: Spendthrifts and Tightwads in Marriage (January 22, 2010). Journal of Marketing Research. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1339240

Contact Information

Scott Rick (Contact Author)
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan ( email )
701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States
HOME PAGE: http://webuser.bus.umich.edu/srick/
Deborah A. Small
University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )
700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
Eli Finkel
Northwestern University - Department of Psychology ( email )
Evanston, IL
United States
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