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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)

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
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7287.2008.00132.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7287.2008.00132.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. 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.
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    11. 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.
    12. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 629-642, December.
    13. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Ian Burn, 2020. "The Relationship between Prejudice and Wage Penalties for Gay Men in the United States," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 73(3), pages 650-675, May.
    2. Michael E. Martell, 2018. "Identity Management: Worker Independence And Discrimination Against Gay Men," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 136-148, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Ian Burn, 2018. "Not All Laws are Created Equal: Legal Differences in State Non-Discrimination Laws and the Impact of LGBT Employment Protections," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 462-497, December.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Jepsen, Christopher & Jepsen, Lisa, 2020. "Convergence Over Time or Not? U.S. Wages by Sexual Orientation, 2001-2018," IZA Discussion Papers 13495, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Michael E. Martell & Peyton Nash, 2020. "For Love and Money? Earnings and Marriage Among Same-Sex Couples," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 260-294, September.
    11. Michael Martell, 2013. "Do ENDAs End Discrimination for Behaviorally Gay Men?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 147-169, June.
    12. Clarke, Geoffrey & Sevak, Purvi, 2013. "The disappearing gay income penalty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 542-545.
    13. Marina Mileo Gorsuch, 2019. "Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Behavioral Norms in the Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 72(4), pages 927-954, August.

    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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