, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 436-453
Date: 14 Jul 2007

Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Discrimination

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We develop empirical estimates of the return to sexual orientation in the labor market and utilize the 2004 Current Population Survey to determine if lesbians and gay men are treated differently from their heterosexual counterparts. We find strong evidence consistent with the hypothesis of discriminatory treatment against gay men, and this evidence differs substantially by occupation. On the other hand, we find no evidence of discrimination against lesbians. These findings are consistent with priors based on economic theory of the standard taste for discrimination and statistical discrimination models. The results for both men and women are consistent across wage and total compensation regressions.