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Like Attract Like ? A Structural Comparison of Homogamy Across Same-Sex and Different-Sex Households

Author

Listed:
  • Edoardo Ciscato
  • Alfred Galichon

    (Département d'économie)

  • Marion Gousse

    (Université Laval)

Abstract

n this paper, we extend Gary Becker's empirical analysis of the marriage market to same-sex couples. Beckers's theory rationalizes the well-known phenomenon of homogamy among heterosexual couples: individuals mate with their likes because many characteristics, such as education, consumption behaviour, desire to nurture children, religion, etc., exhibit strong complementarities in the household production function. However, because of asymmetries in the distributions of male and female characteristics, men and women may need to marry "up" or "down" according to the relative shortage of their characteristics among the populations of men and women. Yet, among homosexual couples, this limit does not exist as partners are drawn from the same population, and thus the theory of assortative mating would boldly predict that individuals will choose a partner with nearly identical characteristics. Empirical evidence suggests a very different picture: a robust stylized fact is that the correlation of characteristics is in fact weaker among the homosexual couples. In this paper, we build an equilibrium model of the same-sex marriage market which allows for straightforward identification of the gains to marriage. We estimate the model with 2008-2012 ACS data on California and show that positive assortative mating is weaker for homosexuals than for heterosexuals with respect to age and race. Yet, contrarily to previous empirical findings, our results suggest that postitive assortative mating with respect to education is stronger on the same-sex marriage market. As regards labor market outcomes, such as hourly wages and working hours, we find that the process of specialization within the household mainly applies to heterosexual couples.

Suggested Citation

  • Edoardo Ciscato & Alfred Galichon & Marion Gousse, 2015. "Like Attract Like ? A Structural Comparison of Homogamy Across Same-Sex and Different-Sex Households," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/38n7438p68v, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/38n7438p68vmqd9om4bjj6l4c
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Clark, 2020. ""You're Just My Type!" Matching and Payoffs When Like Attracts Like," Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 295, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    2. Pierre-André Chiappori & Edoardo Ciscato & Carla Guerriero, 2020. "Analyzing Matching Patterns in Marriage: Theory and Application to Italian Data," Working Papers 2020-080, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    3. Shuai Chen & Jan van Ours, 2021. "Mental Health Effects of Same-Sex Marriage Legalization," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 21-003/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Pierre-André Chiappori & Bernard Salanié, 2021. "Mating Markets," Working Papers 2021-016, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Adda, Jérôme & Pinotti, Paolo & Tura, Giulia, 2020. "There's More to Marriage than Love: The Effect of Legal Status and Cultural Distance on Intermarriages and Separations," CEPR Discussion Papers 14432, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Pierre-Andr'e Chiappori & Alfred Galichon & Bernard Salani'e, 2021. "On Human Capital and Team Stability," Papers 2102.06487, arXiv.org.
    9. Alfred Galichon & Bernard Salani'e, 2021. "Cupid's Invisible Hand: Social Surplus and Identification in Matching Models," Papers 2106.02371, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sorting; Matching; Marriage Market; Homogamy; Same-Sex Households; Roommate problem;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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