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The Relationship between Prejudice and Wage Penalties for Gay Men in the United States

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  • Ian Burn

Abstract

This article estimates the empirical relationship between prejudicial attitudes toward homosexuality and the wages of gay men in the United States. It combines data on prejudicial attitudes toward homosexuality from the General Social Survey with data on wages from the U.S. Decennial Censuses and American Community Surveys—both aggregated to the state level. The author finds that a one standard deviation increase in the share of individuals in a state who are prejudiced toward homosexuals is correlated with a decrease in the wages of gay men of between 2.7% and 4.0%. The results also suggest that the prejudice of managers is responsible for this correlation. The author finds that a one standard deviation increase in the share of the managers in a state who are prejudiced toward homosexuals is associated with a 1.9% decrease in the wages of gay men. The author finds no evidence that the wage penalty for gay men is correlated with the prejudice of customers or co-workers.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:73:y:2020:i:3:p:650-675
    DOI: 10.1177/0019793919864891
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Mats Hammarstedt & Ali M. Ahmed & Lina Andersson, 2015. "Sexual Prejudice and Labor Market Outcomes for Gays and Lesbians: Evidence from Sweden," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 90-109, January.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Drydakis, Nick, 2021. "Sexual Orientation and Earnings. A Meta-Analysis 2012-2020," IZA Discussion Papers 14496, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Dimitrios Nikolaou, 2022. "Same‐sex marriage laws, LGBT hate crimes, and employment discrimination charges," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 88(3), pages 869-905, January.
    4. Jepsen, Christopher & Jepsen, Lisa, 2022. "Convergence over time or not? U.S. wages by sexual orientation, 2000–2019," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).

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