Pugliese, M. et Belleau, H. (2022). Mine, Yours, Ours, or No One’s? Homeownership Arrangements among Cohabiting and Married Couples. Canadian Review of Sociology, 59(S1), 48-73.
Multiple studies examine how couples organize their economic resources, but most focus on wages, with little attention to assets. This paper helps to fill this research gap in Québec (Canada) by asking what proportion of married and cohabiting different-sex couples of working age jointly own their primary residence, instead of remaining in more independent arrangements regarding this asset—either through individual ownership of the home by the man or the woman or by not owning one at all. Also, drawing on transaction cost and institutional approaches to economic organization, we explore variation on several relationship characteristics. Individual ownership is uncommon, especially by the woman, but it is more prevalent among couples with little time together and who do not have children. Individual ownership is also more common among income-unequal couples than equal ones, because, we argue, it allows primary earners to cover housing costs without transferring wealth. Those results advance knowledge on both within-household wealth inequality and conjugal redistributive practices.