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Article

Who Is in Charge of Family Finances in the Russian Two-Earner Households?

Journal of Family Issues. 2017. Vol. 38. No. 17. P. 2425-2448.
Ibragimova D., Guseva A.

Using a recent representative survey and supplemental interviews, we investigate household money management and domestic power dynamics in contemporary Russian two-partner families. During the Soviet period, it was women who typically managed household money. Today, while 45.6% of contemporary Russian two-partner households pool money and manage it jointly, and in about a quarter of families women are in charge, families with men in control of domestic money are on the rise among more affluent spouses who have been married for less than 20 years. While previous work finds evidence for the feminization of poverty in the postcommunist region, we underscore the otherwise hidden aspects of inequality—gendered access to household money among the relative “winners” of the transition: Younger and more affluent families. We place these changes in the context of neoliberal market reforms, including labor market and welfare policy changes and the rise of neoconservative gender ideology.