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  • Michael E. Martell (a1) and Leanne Roncolato (a2)


We are among the first to use American time-use data to investigate non-market behavior in gay and lesbian households. We contribute to a literature that has documented a gay disadvantage and lesbian advantage in the labor market. Many have proposed that this pattern reflects, relative to their heterosexual counterparts, higher levels of household labor among gay men and lower levels of household labor among lesbian women. Results show that gay men, parents in particular, spend more time in household production than heterosexual men. We find evidence of different time-use patterns for lesbians, but they are driven by characteristics not sexual orientation. These results also contribute to the economics of the household showing that time use in same-sex households with weaker gender constructs does not conform to the predictions of models that highlight comparative advantage as a source of specialization.

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Corresponding author

Address correspondence to: Michael E. Martell, Department of Economics, Bard College, P.O. Box 5000, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504; e-mail:


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