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New Evidence on Gay and Lesbian Household Incomes

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  • Christopher Carpenter

Abstract

Using independent data from the Centers for Disease Control, the author tests a key assumption of previous research on gay and lesbian incomes: that same‐sex unmarried partner households are, indeed, gay or lesbian. The author shows that this independent data suffers from less severe underreporting of same‐sex unmarried partner households than the 1990 Decennial Census. Furthermore, individual level information on sexual behavior and family planning is used to show that these households exhibit sexual behavior that is systematically different from married and different‐sex couples and that is consistent with a large body of public health and HIV literature on gay men and lesbians. Finally, the author replicates, confirms, and extends previously published Census‐based results on the household income penalty faced by gay male couples, showing that these results are not an artifact of deficient data. He finds similar results for lesbian couples. (JEL J1, J3)

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Carpenter, 2004. "New Evidence on Gay and Lesbian Household Incomes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(1), pages 78-94, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:22:y:2004:i:1:p:78-94
    DOI: 10.1093/cep/byh007
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/cep/byh007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dan Black & Gary Gates & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2000. "Demographics of the gay and lesbian population in the United States: Evidence from available systematic data sources," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(2), pages 139-154, May.
    2. Suzanne Heller Clain & Karen Leppel, 2001. "An investigation into sexual orientation discrimination as an explanation for wage differences," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 37-47.
    3. John M. Blandford, 2003. "The Nexus of Sexual Orientation and Gender in the Determination of Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 622-642, July.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Sylvia A. Allegretto & Michelle M. Arthur, 2001. "An Empirical Analysis of Homosexual/Heterosexual Male Earnings Differentials: Unmarried and Unequal?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 631-646, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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