Asset Accumulation In Early Married Life

  • Published: Apr 30, 2012
  • Pages: 1173-1188
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1980.tb02202.x


This longitudinal study of the factors influencing the accumulation of financial assets by young married couples in three metropolitan areas of Illinois, finds that couples that start out with a strong financial base tend to improve their relative financial position over time. Especially intriguing is the finding that those couples that acquired initially substantial amounts of debt were more likely to be well off financially at a later time, possibly because the principal asset purchased with these debts, own home, appreciated substantially during the period studied.

The results also suggest that a measure of normal income becomes relevant to explaining variations in asset accumulation only after five or six years of the marriage, while socioeconomic variables other than income seemed to have relatively little effect on changes in asset holdings over time.

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