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Sexual Orientation, Disclosure and Earnings

Author

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  • Plug, Erik

    () (University of Amsterdam)

  • Berkhout, Peter

    () (RIGO Research Institute)

Abstract

Gay/bisexual workers tend to earn less than other men. Does this occur because of discrimination or because of selection? In this paper we address this question and collect new information on workplace disclosure to separate out discrimination effects from selection effects. Using a large sample of recently graduated men in the Netherlands, we find that gay/bisexual workers earn about 3 to 4 percent less than other men. Our disclosure estimates, however, provide little evidence that the labor market discriminates against gay/bisexual workers. They rather support the selection story, most prominently observed among undisclosed gay/bisexual workers who concentrate in lower paid occupations, and earn about 5 to 9 percent less than other men.

Suggested Citation

  • Plug, Erik & Berkhout, Peter, 2008. "Sexual Orientation, Disclosure and Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 3290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    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.
    3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    4. 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.
    5. John M. Blandford, 2003. "The Nexus of Sexual Orientation and Gender in the Determination of Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 622-642, 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. 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.
    8. Christopher S. Carpenter, 2005. "Self-Reported Sexual Orientation and Earnings: Evidence from California," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(2), pages 258-273, January.
    9. Nathan Berg & Donald Lien, 2002. "Measuring The Effect Of Sexual Orientation On Income: Evidence Of Discrimination?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 394-414, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Geijtenbeek, Lydia & Plug, Erik, 2015. "Is There a Penalty for Becoming a Woman? Is There a Premium for Becoming a Man? Evidence from a Sample of Transsexual Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 9077, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Meix-Llop, Enric, 2015. "Do Schools Discriminate Against Homosexual Parents? Evidence from an Internet Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9044, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Erik Plug & Dinand Webbink & Nick Martin, 2014. "Sexual Orientation, Prejudice, and Segregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 123-159.
    4. Niclas Berggren & Mikael Elinder, 2012. "Is tolerance good or bad for growth?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 283-308, January.
    5. Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Michael E. Martell, 2014. "Self-Identified Sexual Orientation and the Lesbian Earnings Differential," Working Papers 2014-13, American University, Department of Economics.
    6. Thierry Laurent & Ferhat Mihoubi, 2012. "Sexual Orientation and Wage Discrimination in France: The Hidden Side of the Rainbow," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 487-527, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sexual orientation; disclosure; earnings; discrimination; selection;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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