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Effect of Registered Partnership on Labor Earnings and Fertility for Same-Sex Couples: Evidence From Swedish Register Data

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  • Lina Aldén

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  • Lena Edlund
  • Mats Hammarstedt
  • Michael Mueller-Smith

Abstract

The expansion of legal rights to same-sex couples is afoot in a number of Western countries. The effects of this rollout are not only important in their own right but can also provide a window on the institution of marriage and the rights bundled therein. In this article, using Swedish longitudinal register data covering 1994–2007, we study the impact of the extension of rights to same-sex couples on labor earnings and fertility. In 1994, registered partnership for same-sex couples was introduced, which conferred almost all rights and obligations of marriage—a notable exception being joint legal parenting, by default or election. The latter was added in the 2002 adoption act. We find registered partnership to be important to both gays and lesbians but for different reasons. For gays, resource pooling emerges as the main function of registered partnerships. For lesbians, registered partnership appears to be an important vehicle for family formation, especially after the 2002 adoption act. In contrast to heterosexual couples (included for comparison), we find no evidence of household specialization among lesbians. The lack of specialization is noteworthy given similar fertility effects of registered partnership (after 2002) and the fact that lesbian couples were less assortatively matched (on education) than heterosexual couples—children and unequal earnings power being two factors commonly believed to promote specialization. Copyright Population Association of America 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Lina Aldén & Lena Edlund & Mats Hammarstedt & Michael Mueller-Smith, 2015. "Effect of Registered Partnership on Labor Earnings and Fertility for Same-Sex Couples: Evidence From Swedish Register Data," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(4), pages 1243-1268, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:52:y:2015:i:4:p:1243-1268
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-015-0403-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael E. Martell & Peyton Nash, 2020. "For Love and Money? Earnings and Marriage Among Same-Sex Couples," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 260-294, September.
    2. Moberg, Ylva, 2016. "Does the gender composition in couples matter for the division of labor after childbirth?," Working Paper Series 2016:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    3. Moberg, Ylva, 2016. "Does the gender composition in Couples matter for the division of labor after childbirth?," Working Paper Series 2016:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    4. Hammarstedt, Mats & Aldén, Lina & Swahnberg, Hanna, 2018. "(I Can’t Get No) Job Satisfaction? Differences by Sexual Orientation in Sweden," Working Paper Series 1241, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. Sansone, Dario, 2019. "Pink work: Same-sex marriage, employment and discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).
    6. Chen, Shuai & van Ours, Jan C., 2020. "Symbolism matters: The effect of same-sex marriage legalization on partnership stability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 44-58.
    7. Dilmaghani, Maryam & Dean, Jason, 2020. "Sexual orientation and homeownership in Canada," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    8. Oreffice, Sonia, 2016. "Sexual Orientation and Marriage/Orientación sexual y Matrimonio," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 34, pages 7-34, Enero.
    9. Douglas W. Allen & Shih En Lu, 2017. "Matching, marriage, and children: differences across sexual orientations," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 527-547, June.
    10. Maryam Dilmaghani, 2019. "Sexual orientation and the ‘cohabitation gap’ in life satisfaction in Canada," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1163-1189, December.
    11. Sabia, Joseph J. & Wooden, Mark & Nguyen, Thanh Tam, 2018. "Sexual identity, same-same relationships, and health dynamics: New evidence from Australia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 24-36.
    12. Martin Kolk & Gunnar Andersson, 2020. "Two Decades of Same-Sex Marriage in Sweden: A Demographic Account of Developments in Marriage, Childbearing, and Divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(1), pages 147-169, February.
    13. Karsten Hank & Martin Wetzel, 2018. "Same-sex relationship experiences and expectations regarding partnership and parenthood," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 39(25), pages 701-718.
    14. Anders Björklund & Lina Aldén & Mats Hammarstedt, 2017. "Early Health and School Outcomes for Children with Lesbian Parents: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 2017-033, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    15. Christopher Jepsen & Lisa K. Jepsen, 2017. "Self-employment, earnings, and sexual orientation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 287-305, March.
    16. Emily Nix & Martin Eckhoff Andresen, 2019. "What Causes the Child Penalty? Evidence from Same Sex Couples and Policy Reforms," Discussion Papers 902, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    17. Lina Aldén & Mats Hammarstedt & Hanna Swahnberg, 2020. "Sexual Orientation and Job Satisfaction: Survey-Based Evidence from Sweden," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 69-101, June.
    18. 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.
    19. Murchie, Judson & Pang, Jindong, 2018. "Rental housing discrimination across protected classes: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 170-179.
    20. Maryam Dilmaghani, 2018. "Sexual Orientation, Labour Earnings, and Household Income in Canada," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 41-55, March.
    21. Chen, Shuai, 2019. "Marriage, minorities, and mass movements," Other publications TiSEM 9cb1b11d-12e6-46a8-adca-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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