Matching, Marriage, and Children: Differences Across Sexual Orientations

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Allen, D.W., and Lu, S.E. (2016). Matching, marriage, and children: Differences across sexual orientations. Review of Economics of the Household 15: 527-547. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11150-016-9339-8

Date created: 
2016-05
Keywords: 
Matching
Same-sex couples
Abstract: 

There are many differences in behavior across couples of different sexual orientations—some well known, others not. We propose a model which explains differences in expected matching behavior, marriage rates, non-child-friendly activities, and fertility, based on different costs of procreation and complementarities between marriage and children. The model predicts that the biological traits of same-sex couples, unlike those of heterosexual couples, should not be correlated—holding constant other household production characteristics. In addition, the model predicts that heterosexuals have a higher probability of having children and getting married, and that childless heterosexuals are less likely to engage in behaviors not complementary with children than childless gays and lesbians. Using two nationally representative probability samples that self-identify sexual orientation, these predictions are confirmed.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
Rights: 
Rights remain with the authors.
File(s): 
Sponsor(s): 
Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
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