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Sexual orientation discrimination in the labour market


  • Drydakis, Nick


This research examines the possible discrimination faced by gay men compared to heterosexuals when applying for jobs in the Greek private sector. This issue was addressed through the observation of employer hiring decisions. Mailing pairs of curriculum vitae, distinguished only by the sexual orientation of the applicants, led to the observation that gay men faced a significantly lower chance of receiving an invitation for an interview. However, in cases where employers called applicants back, the wages offered did not differ significantly between gay and heterosexual applicants. Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence to suggest that discrimination based on sexual orientation does exist in the Greek labour market, and at alarmingly high levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Drydakis, Nick, 2009. "Sexual orientation discrimination in the labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 364-372, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:4:p:364-372

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Neumark & Roy J. Bank & Kyle D. Van Nort, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-941.
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    5. Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 629-642, December.
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    8. Michael Fix & Raymond Struyk, 1993. "Clear and convincing evidence: Measurement of discrimination in america," Natural Field Experiments 00241, The Field Experiments Website.
    9. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Petit, Pascale, 2007. "The effects of age and family constraints on gender hiring discrimination: A field experiment in the French financial sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 371-391, June.
    13. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Drydakis, Nick, 2011. "Roma Women in Athenian Firms: Do They Face Wage Bias?," IZA Discussion Papers 5732, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Stijn Baert & Eddy Omey, 2015. "Hiring Discrimination Against Pro-union Applicants: The Role of Union Density and Firm Size," De Economist, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 263-280, September.
    3. Stijn Baert, 2016. "Wage subsidies and hiring chances for the disabled: some causal evidence," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(1), pages 71-86, January.
    4. Baert, Stijn, 2015. "Hiring a Homosexual, Taking a Risk? A Lab Experiment on Employment Discrimination and Risk Aversion," IZA Discussion Papers 9536, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Ahmed, Ali & Andersson, Lina & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2011. "Are homosexuals discriminated against in the hiring process?," Working Paper Series 2011:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    6. Erik Plug & Dinand Webbink & Nick Martin, 2014. "Sexual Orientation, Prejudice, and Segregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 123-159.
    7. 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.
    8. Thierry Laurent & Ferhat Mihoubi, 2017. "Sexual Orientation, Unemployment and Participation: Are Gays Less Employable than Straights?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-44, March.
    9. Baert, Stijn, 2015. "Do They Find You on Facebook? Facebook Profile Picture and Hiring Chances," IZA Discussion Papers 9584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Stijn Baert & Bart Cockx & Niels Gheyle & Cora Vandamme, 2013. "Do Employers Discriminate Less if Vacancies are Difficult to Fill? Evidence from a Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 4093, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Uhrig, S.C. Noah, 2014. "An examination of poverty and sexual orientation in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    12. Botti, Fabrizio & Conte, Anna & D'Ippoliti, Carlo, 2015. "Not so classy after all: Identity utility and the risk of discrimination of LGB people," MPRA Paper 65125, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Ali M Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2011. "Sexual orientation and occupational rank," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2422-2433.
    14. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2013. "Discrimination in gay and lesbian lives," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 15, pages 236-254 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. repec:cpr:ceprdp:9179 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Buser, Thomas & Geijtenbeek, Lydia & Plug, Erik, 2015. "Do Gays Shy Away from Competition? Do Lesbians Compete Too Much?," IZA Discussion Papers 9382, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Eleonora Patacchini & Giuseppe Ragusa & Yves Zenou, 2015. "Unexplored dimensions of discrimination in Europe: homosexuality and physical appearance," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1045-1073, October.
    18. Baert, Stijn, 2015. "Field experimental evidence on gender discrimination in hiring: Biased as Heckman and Siegelman predicted?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 9, pages 1-11.
    19. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Meix-Llop, Enric, 2016. "Do schools discriminate against homosexual parents? Evidence from a randomized correspondence experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 133-142.
    20. Rich, Judy, 2014. "What Do Field Experiments of Discrimination in Markets Tell Us? A Meta Analysis of Studies Conducted since 2000," IZA Discussion Papers 8584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005," IZA Discussion Papers 10738, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Ali Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2013. "Sexual orientation and full-time monthly earnings, by public and private sector: evidence from Swedish register data," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 83-108, March.
    23. Drydakis, Nick & MacDonald, Peter & Bozani, Vasiliki & Chiotis, Vangelis, 2017. "Inclusive Recruitment? Hiring Discrimination against Older Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 10957, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    24. Deuchert, Eva & Kauer, Lukas, 2013. "Hiring subsidies for people with a disability: Helping or hindering? - Evidence from a small scale social field experiment," Economics Working Paper Series 1335, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    25. Stephan Humpert, 2012. "Somewhere over the Rainbow: Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 245, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item


    Field experiment Sexual orientation Hiring discrimination Wage discrimination Probit model OLS model;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics


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