Original Paper

Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 121-137

First online:

Marriage and the Allocation of Assets in Women’s Defined Contribution Plans

  • Tansel YilmazerAffiliated withDepartment of Personal Financial Planning, University of Missouri Email author 
  • , Angela C. LyonsAffiliated withDepartment of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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The goal of this paper is to understand the effect of family decision-making on the investment decisions of married men and women. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, we investigate how the spouse’s relative control over financial resources in the household and the life-cycle stage affect the investment choices of married women and men. The results show that married women who have more control over the financial resources are less likely to invest their Defined Contribution Plans (DCPs) in risky assets. Also, women who are married to relatively older men are less likely to take on risk with their DCPs. There is little evidence that the wife’s characteristics affect the investment decisions of married men.


Gender Financial decision-making Investment choice Risk aversion