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What Drives the Gender Gap? An Analysis Using Sexual Orientation

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  • Josef Montag

Abstract

Gender differences in productivity, if any, that are unobserved to researchers may produce an omitted variable bias in gender gap studies. Finding a subpopulation with less acute differences in unobserved characteristics would allow this concern to be addressed. This paper argues that gays and lesbians are one such interesting group—for the intra-household division of labor and its effects on market productivity cannot be sex-determined in this subpopulation. Indeed, there are substantial intra-household variations in labor market outcomes and other characteristics; the patterns and magnitudes are similar to different-sex households. Simultaneously, the gender wage gap between gays and lesbians is much smaller than in the heterosexual population; in specifications that control for geographic location it is near zero. These findings suggest that the intra-household division of labor is an important factor driving gender differences in labor market outcomes. Such an interpretation is consistent with recent studies that control for productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Josef Montag, 2014. "What Drives the Gender Gap? An Analysis Using Sexual Orientation," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp505, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp505
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Josef Montag, 2015. "What Drives the Gender Gap? An Analysis Using Sexual Orientation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 577-608, November.
    2. Carpenter, Christopher S., 2007. "Revisiting the income penalty for behaviorally gay men: Evidence from NHANES III," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 25-34, January.
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    1. Josef Montag, 2015. "What Drives the Gender Gap? An Analysis Using Sexual Orientation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 577-608, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender gap; sexual division of labor; discrimination; specialization;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General

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