Sexual Orientation, Demography and Labor Relations
We use data from the 2008-09 Athens Area Study (AAS) to provide the first evidence on the relationship between sexual orientation and earnings in Greece. The AAS asks male adults a direct question about their sexual orientation: about 4.52% self-identify as homosexuals and 0.86% as bisexuals. Sexual orientation minorities are found to receive significantly lower monthly wages than heterosexual workers of the same age, education, health status and occupational characteristics. Moreover, there is statistically significant evidence that homosexual and bisexual men have higher unemployment rates than similarly situated heterosexuals. Of further importance is the finding that sexual orientation minorities who are also older, less educated, blue collar workers, and/or immigrants are statistically more vulnerable to wage discrimination and unemployment than comparable heterosexuals. Moreover, in the current research, in order to better understand the determinants of the wage gaps, we compare homosexual/bisexual men with both married and unmarried heterosexual men. By making these comparisons, we are able to disentangle the penalty associated with being unmarried from other human capital explanations of the wage gap. Given the legal actions in Greece that have the potential to affect sexual orientation minorities, it is important to understand the relationships between sexual orientation, demography and labor market.
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