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A labor of love: The impact of same-sex marriage on labor supply

Author

Listed:
  • Mary Eschelbach Hansen

    (American University)

  • Michael E. Martell

    (Bard College)

  • Leanne Roncolato

    (Franklin and Marshall College)

Abstract

We study how the average labor supply of gay men and lesbian women responds to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. We exploit variation in the timing of legalization across states from 2003 to 2015, and we use a difference-in-differences strategy. Gay men do not alter hours in paid work in response to legalization, but lesbian women do. On average, lesbian women reduce their annual labor supply by 6 percent in response to marriage equality. A battery of robustness checks reinforces the result. The effect of marriage equality is heterogeneous: women who have lower earnings than their partners decrease hours of work 2.5 times more than their partners. Time use data show that lesbian partners reallocate work hours primarily to care labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Michael E. Martell & Leanne Roncolato, 2020. "A labor of love: The impact of same-sex marriage on labor supply," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 265-283, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:18:y:2020:i:2:d:10.1007_s11150-019-09454-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-019-09454-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marcén, Miriam & Morales, Marina, 2019. "The effect of same-sex marriage legalization on interstate migration in the United States," GLO Discussion Paper Series 435, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Christopher S. Carpenter, 2020. "The Direct Effects of Legal Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Evidence From Massachusetts," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(5), pages 1787-1808, October.
    3. Christopher S. Carpenter & Samuel T. Eppink & Gilbert Gonzales & Tara McKay, 2021. "Effects of Access to Legal Same‐Sex Marriage on Marriage and Health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(2), pages 376-411, March.
    4. Delhommer, Scott M. & Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2020. "Same-Sex Couples and the Marital Surplus: The Importance of the Legal Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 13061, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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