Demography

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 509–534

Birth Cohort and the Specialization Gap Between Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples

Authors

  • Lisa Giddings
    • Department of EconomicsUniversity of Wisconsin–La Crosse
    • Department of EconomicsUniversity of Wisconsin–La Crosse
  • Alyssa Schneebaum
    • Department of EconomicsUniversity of Massachusetts–Amherst
  • Joachim Zietz
    • Department of Economics and FinanceMiddle Tennessee State University
    • J. Zietz EBS Business SchoolEBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s13524-013-0267-4

Cite this article as:
Giddings, L., Nunley, J.M., Schneebaum, A. et al. Demography (2014) 51: 509. doi:10.1007/s13524-013-0267-4

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Household specializationDivision of laborGay and lesbian couplesBirth cohortChildren

Supplementary material

13524_2013_267_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (115 kb)
Online Resource 1(PDF 114 kb)

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2014