New Barriers and Continuing Constraints
Edited by Jacqueline Scott, Rosemary Crompton and Clare Lyonette
Chapter 10: Within-Household Inequalities Across Classes? Management and Control of Money
10. Within-household inequalities across classes? Management and control of money Fran Bennett, Jerome De Henau and Sirin Sung INTRODUCTION Any analysis conducted at the level of the household obscures the effect of gender inequalities within households (Jenkins 1991; Himmelweit 2002). In particular, treating household income as pooled obscures women’s ‘hidden’ poverty within households and the existence of gendered inequalities in the control of household resources. Gender-sensitive policy analysis is needed to go ‘beyond the front door’ to open up the ‘closed box’ of the family/household unit (Daly 2000; Lister 2000). The case for examining within-household inequalities is persuasive, not only on moral grounds but also to improve policy design (Jenkins 1994). This chapter describes some results from a project which investigates how public policies in Britain may affect within-household inequalities in male/female couples, and how their effectiveness can be reinforced or undermined by such inequalities.1 More precisely, the project as a whole aims to explore alternative approaches to understanding the behavioural and distributional impact of policy change which take account of gender inequalities in power and influence within the household, and to use such approaches to analyse the effects of actual and potential changes in fiscal, social security and associated labour market policies within the UK. The focus of this chapter is money management and control over household resources. A growing range of literature has recently explored the intra-household allocation of resources and financial control (Pahl 1989; Goode et al. 1998; Vogler 1998; Vogler et al. 2008a and 2008b; Sonnenberg...
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