Birth Cohort and the Specialization Gap Between Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples
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We examine differences in household specialization between same-sex and different-sex couples within and across three birth cohorts: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. Using three measures of household specialization, we find that same-sex couples are less likely than their different-sex counterparts to exhibit a high degree of specialization. However, the “specialization gap” between same-sex and different-sex couples narrows across birth cohorts. These findings are indicative of a cohort effect. Our results are largely robust to the inclusion of a control for the presence of children and for subsets of couples with and without children. We provide three potential explanations for why the specialization gap narrows across cohorts. First, different-sex couples from more recent birth cohorts may have become more like same-sex couples in terms of household specialization. Second, social and legal changes may have prompted a greater degree of specialization within same-sex couples relative to different-sex couples. Last, the advent of reproductive technologies, which made having children easier for same-sex couples from more recent birth cohorts, could result in more specialization in such couples relative to different-sex couples.
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- Birth Cohort and the Specialization Gap Between Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples
Volume 51, Issue 2 , pp 509-534
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Household specialization
- Division of labor
- Gay and lesbian couples
- Birth cohort
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, La Crosse, WI, 54601, USA
- 2. Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts–Amherst, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA
- 3. Department of Economics and Finance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, 37132, USA
- 4. J. Zietz EBS Business School, EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht, Gustav-Stresemann-Ring 3, 65189, Wiesbaden, Germany