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Sexual orientation and neighborhood quality: Do same-sex couples make better communities?


  • Fu, Shihe


This study provides an initial empirical analysis on identifying the general relationship between housing values and the spatial distribution of same-sex couples across the U.S. The paper uses the 1990 and 2000 census 5% Public Use Microdata Samples and introduces the gay index into the social-amenity-based hedonic housing models. The results show significant correlation between the spatial concentration of same-sex couples and housing values; furthermore, housing values are higher in a city where the proportion of same-sex couples was higher a decade ago, suggesting that same-sex couples make better communities.

Suggested Citation

  • Fu, Shihe, 2008. "Sexual orientation and neighborhood quality: Do same-sex couples make better communities?," MPRA Paper 7678, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7678

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz, 2001. "Consumer city," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-50, January.
    2. Stephen L. Ross, 2005. "The Continuing Practice and Impact of Discrimination," Working papers 2005-19, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2006.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 329-333, May.
    4. Kain, John F & Quigley, John Michael, 1972. "Housing Market Discrimination, Homeownership, and Savings Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 263-277, June.
    5. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, August.
    6. Gregory B. Lewis & Bruce A. Seaman, 2004. "Sexual Orientation and Demand for the Arts," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 85(3), pages 523-538.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    8. 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;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(2), pages 139-154, May.
    9. Black, Dan & Gates, Gary & Sanders, Seth & Taylor, Lowell, 2002. "Why Do Gay Men Live in San Francisco?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 54-76, January.
    10. Christopher Carpenter, 2004. "New Evidence on Gay and Lesbian Household Incomes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(1), pages 78-94, January.
    11. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven Saks, 2003. "Why is Manhattan So Expensive? Regulation and the Rise in House Prices," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2020, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    12. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 354-384, March.
    13. Richard Florida & Charlotta Mellander, 2010. "There goes the metro: how and why bohemians, artists and gays affect regional housing values," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 167-188, March.
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    More about this item


    Same-sex couples; Hedonic housing model; Gentrification; Gay index;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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