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The effects of state and local antidiscrimination policies on earnings for gays and lesbians

Author

Listed:
  • Marieka M. Klawitter

    (Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Washington)

  • Victor Flatt

    (College of Law, Georgia State University)

Abstract

In the last 25 years, many cities and counties, as well as a few states, have adopted policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in private or public employment. These policies may increase earnings for gays and lesbians by decreasing discrimination in hiring, firing, promotion, or pay. This study uses data from the 1990 U.S. census to estimate the effects of these policies on individual earnings and household income. The results suggest that the policies have been adopted in places with higher earnings and that same-sex couples are more likely to live in areas that have adopted policies. However, after controlling for individual and location characteristics, the results show no evidence of a direct effect of antidiscrimination policies on average earnings or income for members of same-sex couples. Antidiscrimination policies may be more important both for a small number of individuals and as symbols of full citizenship and legitimacy for gays and lesbians.

Suggested Citation

  • Marieka M. Klawitter & Victor Flatt, 1998. "The effects of state and local antidiscrimination policies on earnings for gays and lesbians," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 658-686.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:17:y:1998:i:4:p:658-686
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6688(199823)17:4<658::AID-PAM4>3.0.CO;2-P
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162, July.
    2. Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-1643, December.
    3. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
    4. 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.
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