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Sexual Orientation and Earnings in Sweden


  • Ahmed, Ali M.

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Hammarstedt, Mats

    () (School of Management and Economics, Växjö University)


This paper examine earnings differentials between homo- and heterosexual individuals by identifying sexual orientation with the help of information from register data. Register data enable us to avoid the misclassifications of sexual orientation often mentioned as a potential bias in survey based studies. The results show that gay men are at an earnings disadvantage as compared to male heterosexuals while the earnings differential between lesbians and heterosexual women is very small. Our results are in line with results from previous research but are more reliable since we use a more reliable measure of sexual orientation than previous research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed, Ali M. & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Sexual Orientation and Earnings in Sweden," Working Papers in Economics 285, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0285

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, January.
    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. 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.
    4. J. Paul Leigh & Deborah Lubeck & Paul Farnham & James Fries, 1997. "Absenteeism and HIV infection," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(5), pages 275-280.
    5. Bruce Elmslie & Edinaldo Tebaldi, 2007. "Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 436-453, July.
    6. Erik Plug & Peter Berkhout, 2004. "Effects of sexual preferences on earnings in the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 117-131, February.
    7. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
    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. Jeff Frank, 2006. "Gay Glass Ceilings," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 485-508, August.
    10. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    11. Marieka Klawitter, 1998. "Why Aren't More Economists Doing Research on Sexual Orientation?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 55-59.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmed, Ali M. & Andersson, Lina & Hammarstedt, Mats, 2008. "Are lesbians discriminated against in the rental housing market? Evidence from a correspondence testing experiment," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 234-238, September.

    More about this item


    Sexual orientation; Labour market; Earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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