Poverty among same-sex couple families in the United States: Is there a premium for married couples?
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/5120
EDITED VERSION: https://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10888-023-09587-5
UNESCO SUBJECT: 5307 Teoría Económica
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
This paper explores the monetary poverty of families headed by same-sex couples, a group understudied in the poverty literature. This research contributes to the literature by documenting how same-sex couples rank with respect to different-sex couples when (a) employing poverty indicators that allow us to move beyond the poverty incidence; (b) measuring not only absolute poverty, which is the usual approach in US studies, but also relative poverty; and (c) distinguishing between married and cohabiting same-sex couples to determine whether they have the same marriage premium as different-sex couples do. Using a reweighting procedure to account for differences in basic characteristics, we document that married/cohabiting male same-sex couples have conditional poverty levels similar to those of married different-sex couples with some indicators, although when using other indicators, they have more poverty. The disadvantage of married male same-sex couples with respect to married different-sex couples increases when moving beyond poverty incidence. Female same-sex couples have more conditional poverty than married different-sex couples regardless of the poverty measure and marital status of the couple. We also find that the marriage premium is unclear for families headed by same-sex couples. Married same-sex couples tend to have more poverty than their cohabiting peers when we move beyond the poverty incidence, with differences among these two groups in the very low tail of their income distributions. Far from the stereotype that married same-sex couples are well off, our results suggest the existence of higher extreme poverty among married female same-sex couples.
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