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Sexual Identity and the Marriage Premium

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.

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File URL: http://www.carleton.ca/economics/wp-content/uploads/cep09-08.pdf
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Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 09-08.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 14 Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published: Carleton Economic Papers
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:09-08
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  1. Karen Leppel, 2009. "Labour Force Status and Sexual Orientation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(301), pages 197-207, 02.
  2. 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 307-19, April.
  3. Bruce Elmslie & Edinaldo Tebaldi, 2007. "Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 436-453, July.
  4. Sylvia A. Allegretto & Michelle M. Arthur, 2001. "An Empirical analysis of homosexual/heterosexual male earnings differentials: Unmarried and unequal?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 631-646, April.
  5. Arabsheibani, G. Reza & Alan Marin & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2002. "Gays' Pay in the UK," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 8, Royal Economic Society.
    • 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, 05.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Heather Antecol & Anneke Jong & Michael D. Steinberger, 2008. "The Sexual Orientation Wage Gap: The Role of Occupational Sorting and Human Capital," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(4), pages 518-543, July.
  11. Christopher Carpenter & Gary Gates, 2008. "Gay and lesbian partnership: Evidence from California," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 573-590, August.
  12. Christopher Dougherty, 2006. "The Marriage Earnings Premium as a Distributed Fixed Effect," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
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