July 2021

IZA DP No. 14571: Sissy That Walk: Transportation to Work by Sexual Orientation

We analyze differences in mode of transportation to work by sexual orientation, using the American Community Survey 2008-2019. Individuals in same-sex couples are significantly less likely to drive to work than men and women in different-sex couples. This gap is particularly stark among men: on average, almost 12 percentage point (or 13%) lower likelihood of driving to work for men in same-sex couples. Individuals in same-sex couples are also more likely to use public transport, walk, or bike to work: on average, men and women are 7 and 3 percentage points more likely, respectively, to take public transportation to work than those in different-sex couples. These differences persist after controlling for demographic characteristics, partner's characteristics, location, fertility, and marital status. Additional evidence from the General Social Survey 2008-2018 suggests that these disparities by sexual orientation may be due to lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals caring more for the environment than straight individuals.