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

  • Christopher A. Jepsen

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

  • Lisa K. Jepsen

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Northern Iowa)

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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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: c/o Dr. Alexandre Olbrecht, The Anisfield School of Business 205, Ramapo College, 505 Ramapo Valley Road, Ramapo, New Jersey 07430, USA
Phone: (201) 684-7346
Web page: http://www.ramapo.edu/eea/journal.html
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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, vol. 37(1), pages 29-46, January.
  2. Dan Black & Gary Gates & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2000. "Demographics of the gay and lesbian population in the United States: Evidence from available systematic data sources," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 139-154, May.
  3. Nakosteen, Robert A & Zimmer, Michael A, 2001. "Spouse Selection and Earnings: Evidence of Marital Sorting," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 201-13, April.
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