Want to earn more? Do less at home, research suggests

The study found that being ‘disagreeable’ can lead to a bigger pay cheque

Want to earn more? Do less at home, research suggests
Steve Randall

Among the many ways that income can be increased, this one ranks among the highest risk strategies as it may lead to divorce.

A new study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business found that “married men who don’t help out around the house” are more likely to earn higher salaries than their more agreeable peers.

That’s because they tend to have a greater focus on their jobs.

"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," said lead author Brittany Solomon. "This effect is even stronger among disagreeable men with more traditional gender role attitudes and when their wives are highly conscientious, presumably because in these cases their wives take on more household management and more seamlessly carry out the responsibilities."

There have been previous studies suggesting that disagreeable behaviour can lead to greater career success and higher financial rewards, but this study did not show that success was due simply to personality.

What about single guys?

Researchers found that the link between doing less at home and achieving more at work was strong for married men with conscientious wives, but this was not the case for other domestic arrangements.

They believe that other ways of relieving domestic burdens can also boost work performance and income.

"To help those who do not have the built-in at-home arrangement that enhances job involvement and pay, organizations may consider investing in infrastructure that helps establish more level career-related playing fields,” Solomon said.

This could include providing lists of reputable providers for home services and maintenance, establishing childcare programs, pre-vetting caregivers or having couriers on retainer.

The full study is available at https://news.nd.edu/news/disagreeable-married-men-who-shirk-domestic-responsibilities-earn-more-at-work-study-shows/