Published August 13, 2021 | Version v1
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Joint and Individual Savings within Families: Evidence from Bank Accounts.

  • 1. Tallinn University of Technology
  • 2. ROR icon Bank of Estonia
  • 3. Tilburg University


Are savings evenly distributed and owned within families or do partners within families differ in their wealth? In this paper we investigated the ownership of financial assets within families and how joint savings affect the individual savings of the partners. We used anonymised monthly transactional data from ING Bank from 2014-2016 to observe financial data on Dutch couples. We found that savings were quite equally allocated in almost half of the households, while in the other half it was common that only one partner owned an individual account. The estimations showed that joint savings contributed to a more equal division of savings since they were held equally. However, we found larger differences in individual savings among partners who shared some savings, suggesting that the use of joint savings did not lead to individual savings being more evenly distributed, but rather to the opposite. The pattern was more apparent for households in their 20s and for savings accounts. The results of the study highlight the need for a better understanding of how partners make decisions about applying the sharing rule to joint and individual savings.


Kukk and Raaij 2021 JFEI.pdf

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IBEP-Individual Behaviour and Economic Performance: Methodological Challenges and Institutional Context 952574
European Commission