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Measuring The Effect Of Sexual Orientation On Income: Evidence Of Discrimination?

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  • Nathan Berg
  • Donald Lien

Abstract

The effect of nonheterosexuality on individual income is estimated using 1991-1996 General Social Survey data. Other researchers have concluded that homosexuals earn less than similarly qualified workers, in contrast to the popular perception that homosexuals are more affluent than nonhomosexuals. Using improved statistical techniques, this article finds noticeable earnings effects that go in opposite directions across genders. Nonheterosexual men earn 22% less than heterosexual men, and nonheterosexual women earn 30% more than heterosexual women. These findings, viewed together with previous empirical work on this topic, help narrow the field of theories that can explain the sexual-orientation earnings gaps present in the data. Copyright 2002 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathan Berg & Donald Lien, 2002. "Measuring The Effect Of Sexual Orientation On Income: Evidence Of Discrimination?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 394-414, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:20:y:2002:i:4:p:394-414
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    1. Mark B. Stewart, 1983. "On Least Squares Estimation when the Dependent Variable is Grouped," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 737-753.
    2. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-229, April.
    3. Kaneko, Mamoru & Kimura, Toshiyuki, 1992. "Conventions, social prejudices and discrimination: A festival game with merrymakers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 511-527, October.
    4. Marieka M. Klawitter & Victor Flatt, 1998. "The effects of state and local antidiscrimination policies on earnings for gays and lesbians," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 658-686.
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