The more thrifty a woman claims to be, the less her partner is likely to spend on her, researchers say.
In the study, researchers tapped into an industry database of 2,000 luxury purchases over a 12-month period.
The data, gleaned from questionnaire replies, provided information ranging from cost and who bought which item to the attitudes of the buyers. In about 1,600 cases, the item – predominantly jewellery – was bought by the husband and in 400 by the wife.
The study confirms that men will spend more on wives and partners who make it clear that they think they are worth it or believe that expensive gifts are romantic, the Independent reported.
The researchers suggest that encouraging women to express romantic views about luxury goods could boost sales.
For the study, the researchers examined the relationship between women's attitudes toward personal luxury goods and the amount spent on them by their partners or, alternatively, themselves.
Scientists based at the universities of Virginia and Loyola in the US used the questionnaire data to identify a number of attitudes towards spending among women.
What they described as Budgetary Wives were concerned about the cost of expensive gifts such as jewellery, relative to household income.
So-called Romantic Wives, however, were much less concerned about domestic budgets and believed that expensive gifts such as jewellery made them feel special and showed that their husbands or partners still wanted to be romantic.
The study concluded that men considering such purchases are affected directly by their partners’ attitudes. The more budget-conscious the wife, the less her husband spent.
However, while men were careful to avoid accusations of extravagance when choosing presents for their partners, the women in the study had no such qualms when it comes to buying for themselves.
The study has been published in Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services.