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You are here Research > Financial > Joint Accounts India: Spousal Decision Making

Joint Accounts in the Fintech Era: How Does Labelling, Transparency and Approval Rules Affect Spousal Financial Decision Making?

flexible loans

  • Researchers:
    • Dr. Tara Bedi, Prof. Michael King, and Anu Puthenmadathil Jose

  • Partners:
    • IFMR LEAD and ING Bank

  • Location:
    • Kolkata, India

  • Sample:
    • 1,000 couples

  • Timeline:
    • 2020-2021

  • Theme:
    • Financial Inclusion and Gender

  • Description:
    • This study will revisit the topic of joint accounts and assess how their terms, increasingly varied due to innovations in the fintech sector, affect allocation decisions. Through an experimental setting we will assess the impact of labelling, transparency and spousal approval on expenditure allocations of spouses. We will also assess the impact of personally earning money on subsequent expenditure decisions of couples under different joint account terms. To achieve this, we will conduct lab-in-the field experiment with a total of 1,000 couples. At the lab we will collect behavioural/demographic characteristics (including preferences, decision making and bargaining power) for both spouses. Using a two-stage randomisation, we will first randomise couples into a ‘task’ or a ‘gift’ stream, before randomising 200 couples into each of five treatment arms with differing joint account terms, under which spouses are asked to complete an allocation decision. We expect to derive important insights in three ways as follows; (1) insights that inform consumers about how best to structure their finances between individual and joint accounts, (2) insights for traditional banks on how they might allow greater flexibility in terms and (3) insights for the fintech sector on how within account labelling, transparency and approval rules affect spousal decision making.