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Self-reported sexual orientation and earnings: Evidence from California

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  • Christopher S. Carpenter
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    Abstract

    Researchers using the 1988-96 General Social Survey (GSS) have found that behaviorally gay/bisexual men earn 15-30% less, and behaviorally lesbian/ bisexual women earn 20-30% more, than similar heterosexuals. This study uses confidential data on self-reported sexual orientation for 50,000 adults in California in 2001, providing more than five times as many respondents who identify themselves as sexual minorities as does the GSS. Previous approaches are extended by using more complete data on earnings, work effort, and job characteristics. Apart from the well-documented marriage premium, the author finds no statistically or economically significant independent effect of a gay or lesbian sexual orientation on earnings. There is some evidence that bisexual men and women earn less than heterosexuals. Analysis of more recent GSS data (including data from 1998-2000) suggests the findings of previous studies are somewhat sensitive to the time period considered. (Free full-text download available at http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/.)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 58 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 258-273

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:58:y:2005:i:2:p:258-273

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    Cited by:
    1. Drydakis, Nick, 2013. "The Effect of Sexual Activity on Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 7529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Clarke, Geoffrey & Sevak, Purvi, 2013. "The disappearing gay income penalty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 542-545.
    3. Stephan Humpert, 2012. "Somewhere over the Rainbow: Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics 245, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    4. Vandecasteele, Bert & Geuens, Maggie, 2009. "Revising the myth of gay consumer innovativeness," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 134-144, January.
    5. Botti, Fabrizio & D'Ippoliti, Carlo, 2012. "Sexual orientation and social exclusion in Italy," MPRA Paper 39246, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Christopher Carpenter, 2008. "Sexual orientation, income, and non-pecuniary economic outcomes: new evidence from young lesbians in Australia," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 391-408, December.
    7. Zavodny, Madeline, 2007. "Is There a ‘Marriage Premium’ for Gay Men?," IZA Discussion Papers 3192, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Laurent, Thierry & Mihoubi, Ferhat, 2011. "Sexual orientation and wage discrimination in France: the hidden side of the rainbow," MPRA Paper 33723, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Ali M Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2011. "Sexual orientation and occupational rank," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2422-2433.
    10. Plug, Erik & Berkhout, Peter, 2008. "Sexual Orientation, Disclosure and Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 3290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Drydakis, Nick, 2009. "Sexual orientation discrimination in the labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 364-372, August.
    12. Carpenter, Christopher S., 2009. "Sexual orientation and outcomes in college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 693-703, December.
    13. Jepsen, Christopher & Jepsen, Lisa K., 2009. "Does home ownership vary by sexual orientation?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 307-315, May.
    14. Ahmed, Ali M. & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Sexual Orientation and Earnings in Sweden," Working Papers in Economics, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics 285, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2005.
    15. Ali Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2013. "Sexual orientation and full-time monthly earnings, by public and private sector: evidence from Swedish register data," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 83-108, March.
    16. Nasser Daneshvary & C. Waddoups & Bradley Wimmer, 2008. "Educational Attainment and the Lesbian Wage Premium," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 365-379, December.
    17. B. Vandecasteele & M. Geuens, 2006. "Consumer Innovativeness and GLB: A comparative study," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration 06/364, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    18. Uhrig, S.C. Noah, 2014. "An examination of poverty and sexual orientation in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    19. Carpenter, Christopher S., 2007. "Revisiting the income penalty for behaviorally gay men: Evidence from NHANES III," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 25-34, January.
    20. Nick Drydakis, . "Sexual Orientation, Demography and Labor Relations," Working Papers, University of Crete, Department of Economics 0906, University of Crete, Department of Economics.

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