Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 436–453 | Cite as

Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Discrimination

  • Bruce Elmslie
  • Edinaldo Tebaldi


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.


Wage discrimination Sex orientation Gay 



The authors thank Karen Conway, William Greene, Ju-Chin Huang, Sinthy Kounlasa, Robert Mohr, Cari Moorhead, Ellen Mutari, and Christine Shea for helpful comments and discussion.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Bryant UniversitySmithfieldUSA

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