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Effects of sexual preferences on earnings in the Netherlands

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  • Erik Plug
  • Peter Berkhout

Abstract

A small literature suggests that bisexual and homosexual workers earn less than their heterosexual fellow workers and that a discriminating labor␣market is partly to blame. In this paper we examine whether sexual preferences affect earnings at the beginning of working careers in the Netherlands. Using an alternative, and quite possibly a better, measure of sexual identity, we find (i) that young and highly educated gay male workers earn about 3% less than heterosexual men; (ii) that similarly qualified lesbian workers earn about 3% more than their heterosexual female co-workers; and (iii) that among homosexual workers the gender gap is not observed. From this we conclude that the Dutch labor market does not discriminate on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender in entry-level jobs. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Plug & Peter Berkhout, 2004. "Effects of sexual preferences on earnings in the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 117-131, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:17:y:2004:i:1:p:117-131
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-003-0136-3
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    1. M. V. Lee Badgett, 1995. "The Wage Effects of Sexual Orientation Discrimination," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 726-739, July.
    2. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259, Elsevier.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, October.
    4. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, October.
    5. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-1194, December.
    6. Marieka Klawitter, 1998. "Why Aren't More Economists Doing Research on Sexual Orientation?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 55-59.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    J15; J16; J71; Earnings; sexual preferences; gender differences; discrimination;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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