Mendoza School of Business

Consumer psychologist’s research on couple’s spending wins award

Published: June 4, 2020 / Author: Carol Elliott

University of Notre Dame researcher Emily Garbinsky won an “early career” award for her paper examining how couples pool their money and the effect on spending.

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Emily Garbinsky

Garbinsky, assistant professor of marketing at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and co-author Joe Gladstone of University College London received the C.W. Park Award for Best Paper by an Early Career Contributor. Their paper, “The Consumption Consequences of Couples Pooling Finances,” was published in the July 2019 issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology (JCP).

The Park Award is given to the best refereed paper published in JCP by an early career contributor in the past year.

The paper showed how partners buy different products depending whether they use joint or separate bank accounts. Sixty-four percent of Americans pool all their money with their spouse, while 22% take a hybrid approach and keep both joint and separate accounts. Despite the predominance of having at least one combined account, research shows that most spending decisions are still made independently.

Read more about the study in fall 2019 edition of Mendoza Business magazine.

Garbinsky is a consumer psychologist who studies how the way money is managed, saved and spent can increase happiness, consumption enjoyment and relationship satisfaction. She has published articles in leading journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Psychological Science, and her research has been featured in popular press including The Atlantic, The New York Times and Scientific American.

She earned a Ph.D. in marketing from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in June 2015, and a B.S. in psychology and decision science from Carnegie Mellon University in May 2010. She currently teaches Principles of Marketing at the undergraduate level and Consumer Behavior at the MBA level. Garbinsky earned the James Dincolo Outstanding Undergraduate Professor Award in April 2018.