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When Men Earn Less Than Their Wives, Couples Tend To Lie About Their Income

When wives make more money than their partners, they don't always tell the truth about their income. In fact, there’s a new report that says when men earn less than their wives, couples tend to inflate their earnings.

According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, when comparing income reported to the IRS to income reported on government survey, both spouses were more likely to say that the husband earned more money than he actually does.

The study explains that when a wife makes more than her husband, the income the couple reports for the wife is 1.5 percentage points lower on average than her actual income. The income the household reports for her husband is 2.9 percentage points higher.

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The findings also indicate that about 40 percent of American households have a female breadwinner, which means more and more wives are making significantly more money than their husbands. This leads many to believe that the gender wage gap has been narrowing at a slower pace over the past several years. In addition, the study brings up questions as to whether women have actually stopped catching up to men when it comes to earnings. Or, it could also mean that men and women are simply not telling the truth about how much money they really make.

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Apparently, one of the reasons why spouses tend to lie about their household income is because many men feel as though they aren’t adequate enough if they are not the top earning provider of their family. In other words, it all boils down to old-fashioned gender specific roles. Many males were either taught or encouraged to become their family providers or main source of income while women were either taught or urged to take care of family or household affairs, such as the cooking, cleaning or running day-to-day errands.

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Simply put, men just feel as though they need to make more income than their partners in order to feel adequate. Justin Wolfers, who studies economics of the family at the University of Michigan, recently told The New York Times in an interview, “Blokes are threatened by wives who earn more, which surprises nobody but is interesting that you can actually find it in the data.”

In a Pew Research survey, over 71 percent of Americans agree that in order to be a good husband, a man should be able to provide some sort of financially stability for his family. In comparison, only 32 percent of women say that they need to do the same.

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