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Sexual orientation, work, and income in Canada

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  • Christopher S. Carpenter

Abstract

. We provide the first evidence on sexual orientation and economic outcomes in Canada using confidential data that ask adults a direct question about their sexual orientation. Gay men have 12% lower personal incomes and lesbians have 15% higher personal incomes than otherwise similar heterosexual men and women, respectively. Different labour force patterns can account for some of the income differentials. We also document large differences in educational attainment, childrearing, and urbanicity that generally mirror patterns found in the US. Finally, we show that applying couples‐based approaches common in this literature greatly overstates the magnitudes of gay/straight income gaps. A l'aide de données confidentielles recueillies auprès d'adultes à qui on a posé directement la question à propos de leur orientation sexuelle, on présente des résultats inédits sur l'orientation sexuelle et les variables économiques au Canada. Les hommes gais ont des revenus personnels 12% plus bas, et les femmes lesbiennes un revenu personnel 15% plus élevé que leurs confrères et consoeurs hétérosexuels respectivement. Certains patterns différents de la main d'oeuvre peuvent expliquer une partie de ces différentiels de revenus. On trouve de grandes différences dans le niveau d'éducation, le soin des enfants et le degré d'urbanisation qui ressemblent à ce qu'on trouve aux États‐Unis. Finalement on montre que le fait d'utiliser des approches basées sur les couples tend à surestimer grandement la taille des écarts de revenus entre gais et hétérosexuels.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher S. Carpenter, 2008. "Sexual orientation, work, and income in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(4), pages 1239-1261, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:41:y:2008:i:4:p:1239-1261
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5982.2008.00502.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Michael E. Martell, 2014. "Self-Identified Sexual Orientation and the Lesbian Earnings Differential," Working Papers 2014-13, American University, Department of Economics.
    2. Sanghoon Lee, 2021. "Social Tolerance and Economic Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 1087-1103, December.
    3. Christopher Carpenter, 2008. "Sexual orientation, income, and non-pecuniary economic outcomes: new evidence from young lesbians in Australia," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 391-408, December.
    4. Stevenson, Adam, 2012. "The Labor Supply and Tax Revenue Consequences of Federal Same-Sex Marriage Legalization," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 65(4), pages 783-806, December.
    5. Josef Montag, 2015. "What Drives the Gender Gap? An Analysis Using Sexual Orientation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 577-608, November.
    6. 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.
    7. Ahmed, Ali M. & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Sexual Orientation and Earnings in Sweden," Working Papers in Economics 285, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2005.
    8. Ali Ahmed & Mats Hammarstedt, 2010. "Sexual orientation and earnings: a register data-based approach to identify homosexuals," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 835-849, June.
    9. Thierry Laurent & Ferhat Mihoubi, 2012. "Sexual Orientation and Wage Discrimination in France: The Hidden Side of the Rainbow," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 487-527, December.
    10. 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.
    11. Joseph J. Sabia & Mark Wooden & Thanh Tam Nguyen, 2017. "Sexual Identity, Same‐Sex Relationships, and Labour Market Dynamics: New Evidence from Longitudinal Data in Australia," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 83(4), pages 903-931, April.
    12. Stephan Humpert, 2012. "Somewhere over the Rainbow: Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Germany," Working Paper Series in Economics 245, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    13. Frances Woolley & Am Lafrance & Casey Warman, 2009. "Sexual Identity And The Marriage Premium," Working Paper 1219, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    14. 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.
    15. Sean Waite & John Ecker & Lori E Ross, 2019. "A systematic review and thematic synthesis of Canada’s LGBTQ2S+ employment, labour market and earnings literature," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(10), pages 1-20, October.
    16. Dilmaghani, Maryam & Dean, Jason, 2020. "Sexual orientation and homeownership in Canada," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    17. 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.
    18. Michael E. Martell, 2018. "Identity Management: Worker Independence And Discrimination Against Gay Men," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 136-148, January.
    19. Ali M. Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2013. "Are Gay Men and Lesbians Discriminated against in the Hiring Process?," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 79(3), pages 565-585, January.
    20. Christopher S. Carpenter & Samuel T. Eppink, 2017. "Does It Get Better? Recent Estimates of Sexual Orientation and Earnings in the United States," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 84(2), pages 426-441, October.
    21. Andrea La Nauze, 2015. "Sexual orientation–based wage gaps in Australia: The potential role of discrimination and personality," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 26(1), pages 60-81, March.
    22. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2013. "Discrimination in gay and lesbian lives," Chapters, in: Deborah M. Figart & Tonia L. Warnecke (ed.), Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 15, pages 236-254, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    23. Shahar Sansani & Arik Rozental, 2018. "Who Favours The Gay Community? Experimental Evidence Using Charitable Donations," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 1-16, January.
    24. Carpenter, Christopher S., 2009. "Sexual orientation and outcomes in college," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 693-703, December.

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