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The Sexual Division of Labor Within Households: Comparisons of Couples to Roommates

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  • Christopher A. Jepsen

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

  • Lisa K. Jepsen

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Northern Iowa)

Abstract

We compare cohabiting couples to roommates to see if couples specialize by allocating the time of one person to the labor market and the other to the home. Roommates are an interesting comparison group. Like couples, they live together. Unlike couples, they have no incentives to specialize. We study same-sex couples because, by definition, they are unable to specialize by gender. All couples, however, have incentives to pool household resources. We find that, with respect to earnings, couples specialize and roommates do not. With respect to hours worked, however, same-sex couples are indistinguishable from male and female roommates.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume32/V32N2P299_312.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 32 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 299-312

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Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:32:y:2006:i:2:p:299-312

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  1. Suen, Wing & Lui, Hon-Kwong, 1999. "A Direct Test of the Efficient Marriage Market Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 29-46, January.
  2. Dan Black & Gary Gates & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 1999. "Demographics of the Gay and Lesbian Population in the United States: Evidence from Available Systematic Data Sources," Center for Policy Research Working Papers, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University 12, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  3. Nakosteen, Robert A & Zimmer, Michael A, 2001. "Spouse Selection and Earnings: Evidence of Marital Sorting," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 201-13, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Sonia Oreffice, 2008. "Sexual Orientation and Household Decision Making. Same-Sex Couples’ Balance of Power and Labor Supply Choices," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2008.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Madeline Zavodny, 2008. "Is there a ‘marriage premium’ for gay men?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 369-389, December.
  3. Negrusa, Brighita & Oreffice, Sonia, 2010. "Sexual Orientation and Household Savings: Do Homosexual Couples Save More?," IZA Discussion Papers 4961, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. John Graham & Jason Barr, 2008. "Assessing the geographic distribution of same sex and opposite sex couples across the United States: implications for claims of causality between traditional marriage and same sex unions," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 347-367, December.
  5. Lisa Giddings & John Nunley & Alyssa Schneebaum & Joachim Zietz, 2014. "Birth Cohort and the Specialization Gap Between Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 509-534, April.

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