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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, 2009. "Sexual orientation discrimination in the labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 364-372, August.
    2. Nick Drydakis, . "Sexual Orientation, Demography and Labor Relations," Working Papers 0906, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
    3. Plug, Erik & Berkhout, Peter, 2008. "Sexual Orientation, Disclosure and Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 3290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Clarke, Geoffrey & Sevak, Purvi, 2013. "The disappearing gay income penalty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 542-545.
    5. Vandecasteele, Bert & Geuens, Maggie, 2009. "Revising the myth of gay consumer innovativeness," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 134-144, January.
    6. Botti, Fabrizio & D'Ippoliti, Carlo, 2012. "Sexual orientation and social exclusion in Italy," MPRA Paper 39246, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Zavodny, Madeline, 2007. "Is There a ‘Marriage Premium’ for Gay Men?," IZA Discussion Papers 3192, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. 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, vol. 6(4), pages 391-408, December.
    9. 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, vol. 11(1), pages 83-108, March.
    10. Drydakis, Nick, 2013. "The Effect of Sexual Activity on Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 7529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Jepsen, Christopher & Jepsen, Lisa K., 2009. "Does home ownership vary by sexual orientation?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 307-315, May.
    12. repec:ese:iserwp:2014-02 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Stephan Humpert, 2012. "Somewhere over the Rainbow: Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 245, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    14. Nasser Daneshvary & C. Waddoups & Bradley Wimmer, 2008. "Educational Attainment and the Lesbian Wage Premium," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 365-379, December.
    15. Carpenter, Christopher S., 2009. "Sexual orientation and outcomes in college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 693-703, December.
    16. B. Vandecasteele & M. Geuens, 2006. "Consumer Innovativeness and GLB: A comparative study," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 06/364, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    17. Ahmed, Ali M. & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Sexual Orientation and Earnings in Sweden," Working Papers in Economics 285, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2005.
    18. Thierry Laurent & Ferhat Mihoubi, 2012. "Sexual Orientation and Wage Discrimination in France: The Hidden Side of the Rainbow," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 487-527, December.
    19. Ali M Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2011. "Sexual orientation and occupational rank," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2422-2433.
    20. Carpenter, Christopher S., 2007. "Revisiting the income penalty for behaviorally gay men: Evidence from NHANES III," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 25-34, January.

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