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

42 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2010

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We analyze how sexual orientation is related to household savings using 2000 US Census data, and find that gay and lesbian couples own significantly more retirement income than heterosexuals, while cohabiting heterosexuals save more than their married counterparts. In a household savings model, we interpret this homosexual-specific differential as due to the extremely low fertility of same-sex couples, in addition to the precautionary motives driving cohabiting households to save more than married ones. Evidence from homeowners' ratio of mortgage payments to house value 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?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4961, Available at SSRN: or

Brighita Negrusa (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

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

Sonia Oreffice

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

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