Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Earnings differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals and the effects of anti-discriminatory laws: equal but still unmarried

Christafore, David and Leguizamon, Sebastian (2012): Earnings differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals and the effects of anti-discriminatory laws: equal but still unmarried.

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Abstract

Anti-discrimination laws on the basis of sexual orientation have been adopted by many states to counteract perceived discrimination in the labor market. We �find that relative to married heterosexual men, homosexual men earn less and anti-discriminatory laws, over time, partially lessen this gap. This gap is statistically non-existent relative to unmarried heterosexual men. Homosexual women, on the other hand, experience higher earnings than their heterosexual female counterparts, and the law shrinks this gap over time. Our results suggest that although the earnings differential may be due to the marriage premium, anti-discriminatory laws do help reduce labor market differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals. We conjecture that allowing homosexuals to marry could reduce the earnings inequality without creating potentially significant labor market distortions.

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