“People are not really fighting over money, they’re fighting over an allocation of money” says Professor Betsy Stevenson, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania when asked about her economic views of consumerism, coupling and conflict.

In other words, it’s not the act of buying that concerns couples, but what’s being bought, and the opportunity costs of that purchase. Money-related fights aren’t about whether one person is a cheapskate or a spender; it’s about withholding spending on something that someone else sees as important, or freely spending on something that someone else sees as less important.

Is this what leads to divorce?


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