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Sexual Identity and the Marriage Premium

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Abstract

We use the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) to explore the effects of marriage and cohabitation on gay, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual individuals’ hours worked and full-time earnings. The CCHS is one of the largest national-level data sets containing both income and sexual orientation information (Carpenter, 2008). Partnered gay and bisexual men spend more hours in paid employment than their unattached counterparts. However, for those working more than 30 hours per week, the earnings advantage of partnered gay and bisexual men relative to the unattached is insignificant. The hours worked of partnered and unattached lesbians are indistinguishable, however partnered lesbians earn about ten percent more than the unattached. Bisexual men and women experience some of the worst labor market outcomes of any group. These findings suggest that caution should be employed when generalizing results based on studies of cohabiting gay and lesbian couples to the entire non-heterosexual population.

Suggested Citation

  • Amélie Lafrance & Casey Warman & Frances Woolley, 2009. "Sexual Identity and the Marriage Premium," Carleton Economic Papers 09-08, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:09-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Suzanne Heller Clain & Karen Leppel, 2001. "An investigation into sexual orientation discrimination as an explanation for wage differences," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 37-47.
    2. G. Reza Arabsheibani & Alan Marin & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2005. "Gay Pay in the UK," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(286), pages 333-347, May.
    3. Choi, Hyung-Jai & Joesch, Jutta M. & Lundberg, Shelly, 2008. "Sons, daughters, wives, and the labour market outcomes of West German men," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 795-811, October.
    4. Heather Antecol & Anneke Jong & Michael Steinberger, 2008. "The Sexual Orientation Wage Gap: The Role of Occupational Sorting and Human Capital," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(4), pages 518-543, July.
    5. Karen Leppel, 2009. "Labour Force Status and Sexual Orientation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(301), pages 197-207, February.
    6. Christopher Carpenter & Gary Gates, 2008. "Gay and lesbian partnership: Evidence from California," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(3), pages 573-590, August.
    7. Christopher S. Carpenter, 2008. "Sexual orientation, work, and income in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1239-1261, November.
    8. Bruce Elmslie & Edinaldo Tebaldi, 2007. "Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 436-453, July.
    9. Christopher Dougherty, 2006. "The Marriage Earnings Premium as a Distributed Fixed Effect," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
    10. Chun, Hyunbae & Lee, Injae, 2001. "Why Do Married Men Earn More: Productivity or Marriage Selection?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 307-319, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Sweetman, Arthur & Warman, Casey, 2009. "Temporary Foreign Workers and Former International Students as a Source of Permanent Immigration," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-34, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Jun 2009.
    3. Benjamin Cerf, 2016. "Sexual Orientation, Income, and Stress at Work," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 546-575, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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