Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 835–849 | Cite as

Sexual orientation and earnings: a register data-based approach to identify homosexuals

Original Paper


This paper examines earnings differentials between homo- and heterosexual individuals by identifying sexual orientation with the help of information from register data. Register data enable us to avoid the misclassifications of sexual orientation often mentioned as a potential bias in survey-based studies. The results show that gay men are at an earnings disadvantage as compared to male heterosexuals while the earnings differential between lesbians and heterosexual women is very small. Our results are in line with results from previous research but are more reliable since we use a more reliable measure of sexual orientation than previous research.


Sexual orientation Labour market Earnings 

JEL Classification

J15 J71 



We wish to thank the seminar participants at Gothenburg University, Stockholm University, Växjö University and the 2008 EALE conference in Amsterdam. Furthermore, we would like to thank the editor James Albrecht and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. We would also like to thank Joel Karlsson for his assistance with the data. Ali Ahmed appreciates the financial support from the Wallander-Hedelius Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Management and EconomicsVäxjö UniversityVäxjöSweden

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