Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 83–108

Sexual orientation and full-time monthly earnings, by public and private sector: evidence from Swedish register data


DOI: 10.1007/s11150-012-9158-5

Cite this article as:
Ahmed, A., Andersson, L. & Hammarstedt, M. Rev Econ Household (2013) 11: 83. doi:10.1007/s11150-012-9158-5


In this paper we explore annual earnings as well as full-time monthly earnings differentials resulting from sexual orientation. We observe that gay males are at an earnings disadvantage compared to male heterosexuals regardless of which earnings measure we use. This earnings disadvantage is found to be larger when we compare gay and heterosexual males who are working full-time. In addition, the disadvantage is larger in the private than in the public sector. Lesbians, however, earn more than heterosexual females. This earnings advantage is considerably smaller when we study full-time monthly rather than annual earnings but an earnings advantage for lesbians at the top of the earnings distribution is documented regardless of which earnings measure we use. In addition, lesbians are doing better than female heterosexuals in the public sector. To sum up, the results indicate that gay males face obstacles on the labor market that hinder them from reaching top-level positions and high earnings. The earnings advantage observed for lesbians is likely to stem from the fact that lesbians devote more time to market work than heterosexual females do.


Sexual orientation Earnings differentials Annual earnings Full-time earnings 

JEL Classification

J15 J71 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and EngineeringLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Swedish Collegium for Advanced StudyUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Linnaeus University Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination StudiesLinnaeus UniversityVäxjöSweden

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