Nice guys finish last? Husbands who do fewer household chores have higher incomes

By Study Finds - June 11, 2021

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — It pays to be selfish, at least for husbands. Those are the findings, in a nutshell, of a new study just released by University of Notre Dame researchers. Virtually guaranteed to raise eyebrows and incite debate in homes across the country, the research concludes “disagreeable” married men who avoid pitching in at home usually end up earning more money than husbands who diligently help with household chores.

Focusing solely on heterosexual marriages, the study indicates that selfish husbands who avoid domestic chores have “more resources” to devote toward their careers. Consequently, they usually earn more money.

The use of the term “disagreeable” here is a reference to “agreeableness” — which is one of the “Big Five” dimensions used in psychology to describe someone’s personality.

While someone who is agreeable is usually kind, generous, and sympathetic, disagreeable individuals are characterized by selfishness and competitiveness.

“Across two studies, we find evidence that disagreeable men tend to earn more money relative to their more agreeable male counterparts because they are more self-interested and less helpful to their wives at home, which allows for greater job involvement and, ultimately, higher pay,” lead author Brittany Solomon, a management professor at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, says in a university release.

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Tags: couples, marriage, relationships