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Life satisfaction and sexual minorities: Evidence from Australia and the United Kingdom

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  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh
  • Wooden, Mark

Abstract

Very little is known about how the differential treatment of sexual minorities could influence subjective reports of overall well-being. This paper seeks to fill this gap. Data from two large surveys that provide nationally representative samples for two different countries – Australia and the UK – are used to estimate a simultaneous equations model of life satisfaction. The model allows for self-reported sexual identity to influence a measure of life satisfaction both directly and indirectly through seven different channels: (i) income; (ii) employment; (iii) health (iv) marriage and de facto relationships; (v) children; (vi) friendship networks; and (vii) education. Lesbian, gay and bisexual persons are found to be significantly less satisfied with their lives than otherwise comparable heterosexual persons. In both countries this is the result of a combination of direct and indirect effects.

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  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Wooden, Mark, 2015. "Life satisfaction and sexual minorities: Evidence from Australia and the United Kingdom," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 107-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:116:y:2015:i:c:p:107-126
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.04.012
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    9. Majumderad, Monoj Kumar & Raghavan, Mala & Vespignani, Joaquin, 2020. "Oil Curse," MPRA Paper 101138, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2020.
    10. Majumder, Monoj Kumar & Raghavan, Mala & Vespignani, Joaquin, 2020. "Oil curse, economic growth and trade openness," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    11. Maryam Dilmaghani, 2019. "Sexual orientation and the ‘cohabitation gap’ in life satisfaction in Canada," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1163-1189, December.
    12. Bethany Cooper, 2017. "What drives compliance? An application of the theory of planned behaviour to urban water restrictions using structural equation modelling," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(14), pages 1426-1439, March.
    13. Sabia, Joseph J. & Wooden, Mark & Nguyen, Thanh Tam, 2018. "Sexual identity, same-same relationships, and health dynamics: New evidence from Australia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 24-36.
    14. O’Leary, Nigel & Li, Ian W. & Gupta, Prashant & Blackaby, David, 2020. "Wellbeing trajectories around life events in Australia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 499-509.
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    16. Sarah Brown & Alexandros Kontonikas & Alberto Montagnoli & Mirko Moro & Luisanna Onnis, 2019. "Life satisfaction and austerity: Expectations and Macroeconomy," Working Papers 2019011, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
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    18. Berggren, Niclas & Nilsson, Therese & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2015. "What Aspects of Society Affect the Quality of Life of a Minority? Global Evidence from the New Gay Happiness Index," Working Paper Series 1101, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    19. Drydakis, Nick & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2020. "Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Labour Market Outcomes: New Patterns and Insights," GLO Discussion Paper Series 627, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    20. Salim, Ruhul & Yao, Yao & Chen, George S., 2017. "Does human capital matter for energy consumption in China?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 49-59.

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