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Wage Penalties And Sexual Orientation: An Update Using The General Social Survey

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  • BRENDAN CUSHING-DANIELS
  • TSZ-YING YEUNG

Abstract

"This study uses data from the 1988 to 2006 General Social Survey (GSS) to examine the effects of sexual orientation on earnings. Previous research using the GSS has found that lesbians earn 18%-23% more than similarly qualified heterosexual women and that wage penalties for gay men are slightly larger than the premia for lesbians. Using behavioral definitions of sexual orientation based on the previous year and the previous 5 yr of sexual activity, we find the familiar wage premia/penalties for lesbian/gay workers in our ordinary least squares estimations, but we find that these wage differences are falling over time. Furthermore, in contrast to the earlier results, for our regressions over the entire sample period, correcting for differential selection into full-time work reduces the estimated penalties for unmarried gay men and eliminates the entire wage premium for all lesbians. There is now a sizeable, though imprecisely measured, penalty for some lesbians. "("JEL "J1, J3, J7) Copyright (c) 2009 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Brendan Cushing-Daniels & Tsz-Ying Yeung, 2009. "Wage Penalties And Sexual Orientation: An Update Using The General Social Survey," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(2), pages 164-175, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:27:y:2009:i:2:p:164-175
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nelson, Forrest D., 1984. "Efficiency of the two-step estimator for models with endogenous sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 181-196.
    2. Erik Plug & Peter Berkhout, 2004. "Effects of sexual preferences on earnings in the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 117-131, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Dan A. Black & Hoda R. Makar & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2003. "The Earnings Effects of Sexual Orientation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 449-469, April.
    5. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
    6. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 629-642, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Christopher S. Carpenter, 2005. "Self-Reported Sexual Orientation and Earnings: Evidence from California," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(2), pages 258-273, January.
    9. 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.
    10. Nathan Berg & Donald Lien, 2006. "Same-sex sexual behaviour: US frequency estimates from survey data with simultaneous misreporting and non-response," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(7), pages 757-769.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sabia, Joseph J. & Wooden, Mark, 2015. "Sexual Identity, Earnings, and Labour Market Dynamics: New Evidence from Longitudinal Data in Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 8935, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2015. "Testing for Discrimination against Lesbians of Different Marital Status: A Field Experiment," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 131-161, January.
    3. repec:bla:coecpo:v:36:y:2018:i:1:p:136-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Michael Martell, 2013. "Do ENDAs End Discrimination for Behaviorally Gay Men?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 147-169, June.
    5. Christopher Jepsen & Lisa K. Jepsen, 2017. "Self-employment, earnings, and sexual orientation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 287-305, March.
    6. Clarke, Geoffrey & Sevak, Purvi, 2013. "The disappearing gay income penalty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 542-545.
    7. Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Michael E. Martell, 2014. "Self-Identified Sexual Orientation and the Lesbian Earnings Differential," Working Papers 2014-13, American University, Department of Economics.
    8. Michael E. Martell, 2014. "HOW ENDAs EXTEND THE WORKWEEK: LEGAL PROTECTION AND THE LABOR SUPPLY OF BEHAVIORALLY GAY MEN," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 560-577, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

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