Migration of same-sex couples



The trailing wife literature finds that migration harms the employment of married women for at least several years following a move. The bulk of empirical evidence also suggests that this is due to the social construction of gender roles within the family. This research tests the gender role argument by examining the effect of moving on a family type in which those heterosexual married couple gender roles are assumed to be absent: gay and lesbian same-sex couples. The hypothesis is that, in the absence of traditional gender roles, the effect of moving on men and women will be the same. The empirical analysis uses data from the Public Use Microdata Sample of the 1990 US Census, identifies a sample of same-sex couples, and estimates models of labour-market status and hours worked. The results indicate that the migration of same-sex couples has no effect on the labour-market status and hours worked of men and women in gay and lesbian couples. This provides indirect evidence in support of the gender role argument. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.