Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1981

Volume 6 Issue 3

Financial Arrangements within Families: Empirical Results and Tax Implications

Meredith Edwards

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Meredith Edwards


1 Economics School of Administrative Studies Canberra College of Advanced Education

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Women and Taxation

Last year, on behalf of the National Women’s Advisory Council, I undertook an exploratory survey to obtain information on the ways in which married couples arrange their financial affairs. Much of social policy is based on the assumption that husband and wife pool their income and that the welfare of an individual family member can be determined by reference to total family income irrespective of its source. This assumption is convenient to policy makers and social analysts which is a probable reason for its perpetuation. But this does not justify its continued use in the absence of supporting evidence. The survey was motivated by a concern that social policy decisions, which at present are made on largely intuitive grounds, should, rather, be based on facts about the extent to which families pooled income and shared in its benefits.

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