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Revisiting Evidence of Labor Market Discrimination against Homosexuals and the Effects of Anti-Discriminatory Laws

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  • David Christafore

    (Yeungnam University, Korea)

  • J. Sebastian Leguizamon

    (Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

Anti-discrimination laws on the basis of sexual orientation have been adopted by many states to counteract perceived discrimination in the labor market. However, we find the evidence of earnings disparities between homosexual and heterosexual men to be extremely sensitive to the choice of reference group. Relative to married heterosexual men, gay men earn less, and, over time, anti-discriminatory laws lessen this gap. Relative to unmarried, coupled heterosexual men, however, gay men experience similar levels of earnings. The choice of reference group leads to opposite conclusions regarding the effectiveness and necessity of an anti-discriminatory law for homosexual men, which highlights the need to construct reference groups with care. We also find that homosexual women experience similar earnings to their heterosexual female counterparts, and the law has no effect on these relative wages.

Suggested Citation

  • David Christafore & J. Sebastian Leguizamon, 2013. "Revisiting Evidence of Labor Market Discrimination against Homosexuals and the Effects of Anti-Discriminatory Laws," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 43(2,3), pages 213-238, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rre:publsh:v:43:y:2013:i:23:p:213-238
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    earnings; employment; sexual orientation; policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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