Research on the relationship between sexual orientation and labour market earning has relied either on surveys with small samples of sexual minorities, or has used large samples of same-sex couples, often with sample discrepancies. Carpenter and Jefferson Frank find that in the UK gay men earn less than straight ones and heterosexual women earn less than lesbians.
These studies frequently find "Homosexual vs heterosexual income" earnings differences: Where individual level self-reports of sexual orientation are available, the earnings differences are generally smaller. Due to limited data availability, the previous studies have struggled with a trade-off between representativeness and sample size.
Couples-based data sets such as population censuses in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom yield very large samples of same-sex couples but do not identify the sexual identity of non-partnered individuals.
In contrast, data sets with individual level information on sexual orientation or sexual behaviour have generally been much smaller in size. The few studies with individual level information on sexual orientation and reasonably large samples of sexual minorities have been limited to single states e.
Homosexual vs heterosexual income a result, it has been difficult to know whether differences in estimated earnings effects of a minority sexual orientation in different studies are due to differences in the samples, populations, or outcomes.
Homosexual vs heterosexual income been difficult to disentangle alternative theories underlying sexual orientation-based differences in labour market outcomes e. To our knowledge it is the first countrywide dataset with both partnership status and self-identified sexual orientation combined with high-quality data on labour market earnings.
These data allow us to identify large samples of sexual minority individuals — over 2, self-identified lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals LGB — through responses to a direct question about sexual orientation.
It also permits us to identify not only individual level sexual orientation but also same-sex partnerships. This means we can directly test for how measurement of sexual orientation i.
These data also allow us to comment more directly on the possible explanations for earnings differentials. We
Homosexual vs heterosexual income that having data on both partnered and non-partnered sexual minorities is substantively important.
Our full-time employment models indicate that: Notably, this difference for gay men is driven by the partnered sample.
Partnered gay men are 6. In contrast, the difference for bisexual men is driven primarily in the non-partnered sample, where non-partnered bisexual men are For women, we show that lesbians are 8.
As with gay males, the lesbian difference in full-time employment although of opposite sign to that gay males is predominantly driven by the partnered sample. Partnered lesbians are Turning to the earnings models, after controlling for observable of earnings such as education, location, and family structurewe find a positive and statistically significant earnings differential for partnered lesbians compared to partnered heterosexual women but no earnings differential for non-partnered lesbians compared with similarly situated non-partnered heterosexual women.
We find a negative and marginally significant earnings penalty for partnered gay men compared to partnered heterosexual men but no earnings differential for non-partnered gay men compared with similarly situated non-partnered heterosexual men.
Taking together the overall population of both partnered and non-partnered individuals, we find that the earnings difference associated with a gay sexual orientation for men is near zero, while the associated population-based earnings difference Homosexual vs heterosexual income women associated with a lesbian orientation is a premium of about 5. We argue that our results are consistent with specialization.
Traditional heterosexual partnerships typically involve gendered specialization, with the man more engaged in market activities than the woman, particularly given the prevalence of children among heterosexual couples. Even if the degree of household specialization were the same in heterosexual and gay male households, gendered heterosexual specialization means that the average partnered heterosexual man will be more focused upon market activities than the average partnered gay man.
By the same argument, the average partnered lesbian will be more focused upon market activities than the average partnered heterosexual woman. These differences should not accrue to non-partnered individuals. These specialization-based predictions hold in our data. Our findings that the lesbian premium among partnered individuals accrues approximately equally to lesbians who are household heads and lesbians who are not household heads also supports the idea that there is less specialization in a lesbian household.
While comparative specialization within the household is our preferred explanation for most of our results, there is some limited evidence for the presence of discrimination as an explanatory factor.
Our results show that it is older gay men and partnered gay men that earn less than comparable heterosexual men. It is likely that the lack of a heterosexual marriage becomes more of a signal of sexual minority status as an individual gets older Frank Partnered gay men may also be more observable as being gay than non-partnered counterparts.
They may have photos of a same-sex partner or list their same-sex partner as a beneficiary, for example. If there is discrimination against gay men, these more observable individuals may bear a greater penalty. Further, the gay male penalty only occurs outside London, where there is likely to be a stronger taste for discrimination. Finally, the bisexual male penalty only occurs in the private sector and not the public sector where there are greater protections against discrimination. Taken together, then, our unique samples of partnered and non-partnered sexual minorities and high quality data on earnings provide novel evidence supporting a role for specialization in explaining sexual orientation-based differences in labour market earnings, with less evidence for selectivity and limited and mixed support for discrimination.
His main research interests are inequalities in the labor market, female labor supply and economics of fertility. He tweets at cevatgirayaksoy.
I think more work needs to be done here. And I believe children have the opposite Homosexual vs heterosexual income suggested by the previous commenter. I would hypothesize that people with children make more because they are more motivated to move into jobs Homosexual vs heterosexual income pay more in order to support their larger families. I suspect that more partnered heterosexuals and lesbians have children than partnered gay men do at least at the current time.
That Lesbian women earn more than het ones is hardly surprising because they are far less likely to take time off to look after children than their counterparts. Click here to cancel reply. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Experts analyse and debate recent Homosexual vs heterosexual income across UK government, politics and policy.
How your sexual orientation affects your salary.
February 7th, Economy and SocietyFeatured 2 Comments. Previous post Next post.
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