Sexual Orientation and Household Savings: Do Homosexual Couples Save More?

47 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2010

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 26, 2010


We analyze how sexual orientation is related to household savings, comparing gay and lesbian couples to heterosexual married and cohabiting couples. Data from the 2000 United States Census show that homosexual couples significantly own more retirement and social security income than heterosexual couples, also after controlling for intra-household differences in life expectancy and age. Additionally, we find evidence of higher savings for heterosexual cohabiting than for married couples. Being gay or lesbian makes you have $5,600 more annual old-age household income than the average married couple, who in turn saves $2,700 less annually than the average heterosexual cohabiting couple. In a household savings model, we interpret our findings in terms of a homosexual-specific differential that may be due to the extremely low fertility of this demographic group, in addition to the precautionary motive due to the lack of legal marriage that may drive all cohabiting couples to save more. Evidence from home-owners’ ratio of mortgage payments relative to the value of their house exhibits the same pattern of savings differentials by sexual orientation and cohabiting status.

Keywords: sexual orientation, household savings, retirement, housing

JEL Classification: D1, D12, J15, J16

Suggested Citation

Negrusa, Brighita and Oreffice, Sonia, Sexual Orientation and Household Savings: Do Homosexual Couples Save More? (February 26, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Brighita Negrusa

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Sonia Oreffice (Contact Author)

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics