Household Production and Sexual Orientation

13 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2014

Date Written: January 2015


The 2006 Canada census is used, along with a well‐known model of household production, to estimate the value of household commodities produced by gay, lesbian, and heterosexual couples. The results show some intriguing differences and similarities. Unlike heterosexuals, gay and lesbian couples respond differently to changes in the cost of time. However, all couples are characterized by the importance of market goods over time and the importance of human capital in the market over the home, with respect to household production. Hence, although there are differences in the sexual division of labor between households of different sexual orientations, the value of household commodities is mostly driven by differences in the amount of market goods used in the home. Market goods are determined by income, and differences in income within a couple‐type swamp differences in income across couple‐types, and as a result there is no statistical difference in the value of household commodities produced across the three sexual orientations.

JEL Classification: D13

Suggested Citation

Allen, Douglas W., Household Production and Sexual Orientation (January 2015). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 53, Issue 1, pp. 406-418, 2015, Available at SSRN: or

Douglas W. Allen (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
604-291-3445 (Phone)
604-291-5944 (Fax)

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