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Are homosexuals discriminated against in the hiring process?

  • Ahmed, Ali


    (Linnaeus University)

  • Andersson, Lina


    (Linnaeus University)

  • Hammarstedt, Mats


    (Linnaeus University)

This paper presents the first field experiment on sexual orientation discrimination in the hiring process in the Swedish labor market. Job applications were sent to about 4,000 employers in 10 different occupations in Sweden. Gender and sexual orientation were randomly assigned to applications. The results show that sexual orientation discrimi-nation exists in the Swedish labor market. The discrimination against gays and lesbian varies across different occupations and appears only in the private sector. The results also seem to suggest a new dimension of traditional gender roles; the gay applicant was discriminated against in typical male-dominated occupations whereas the lesbian applicant was discriminated against in typical female-dominated occupations. Thus, the results suggest that gays to some extent face the same obstacles on the labor market as heterosexual women.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011:21.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 28 Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Ahmed, Ali, Lina Andersson and Mats Hammarstedt, 'Are Gay Men and Lesbians Discriminated against in the Hiring Process?' in Southern Economic Journal, 2013, pages 565-585.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2011_021
Contact details of provider: Postal: IFAU, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: (+46) 18 - 471 70 70
Fax: (+46) 18 - 471 70 71
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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. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2003. "Sexual orientation discrimination in hiring," Natural Field Experiments 00340, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Ali M Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2011. "Sexual orientation and occupational rank," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2422-2433.
  4. Ali M. Ahmed & Mats Hammarstedt, 2009. "Detecting Discrimination against Homosexuals: Evidence from a Field Experiment on the Internet," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 588-597, 07.
  5. Ali Ahmed & Mats Hammarstedt, 2010. "Sexual orientation and earnings: a register data-based approach to identify homosexuals," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 835-849, June.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
  7. Ali M. Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2012. "Does age matter for employability? A field experiment on ageism in the Swedish labour market," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 403-406, March.
  8. Nick Drydakis, . "Womenâ??s Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 0907, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  9. Dan A. Black & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2007. "The Economics of Lesbian and Gay Families," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 53-70, Spring.
  10. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Nick Drydakis, 2011. "Women's Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Outcomes in Greece," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 89-117.
  12. Carlsson, Magnus & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2006. "Evidence of Ethnic Discrimination in the Swedish Labor Market Using Experimental Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2281, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Drydakis, Nick, 2009. "Sexual orientation discrimination in the labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 364-372, August.
  14. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
  15. M.V. Lee Badgett, 2006. "Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation: A Review of the Literature in Economics and Beyond," Chapters, in: Handbook on the Economics of Discrimination, chapter 6 Edward Elgar.
  16. Bruce Elmslie & Edinaldo Tebaldi, 2007. "Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 436-453, July.
  17. 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.
  18. Nick Drydakis, 2007. "Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Labour Market," Working Papers 0832, University of Crete, Department of Economics, revised 00 2008.
  19. repec:feb:natura:0002 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Ali M. Ahmed & Lina Andersson & Mats Hammarstedt, 2011. "Inter‐ and Intra‐Household Earnings Differentials among Homosexual and Heterosexual Couples," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(Supplemen), pages s258-s278, 07.
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