Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 487–527 | Cite as

Sexual Orientation and Wage Discrimination in France: The Hidden Side of the Rainbow

  • Thierry Laurent
  • Ferhat Mihoubi


This article is the first study to present an econometric evaluation of wage discrimination based on sexual orientation in the French labor market. Having identified same-sex couples using the French Employment Survey, we estimate the wage gap related to sexual orientation in the private and public sectors, in order to analyze whether or not lesbians and gays suffer a wage penalty. The results obtained show the existence of a wage penalty for homosexual male workers, as compared with their heterosexual counterparts, in both the private and public sectors; the magnitude of this discrimination varies from about −6.5 % in the private sector, to −5.5 % in the public sector. In the private sector, the wage penalty suffered by gay employees is higher for skilled workers than for the unskilled, and—in both sectors—the wage penalty is higher for older workers than for younger ones. As with many other countries, we do not find any evidence of the existence of a wage discrimination against lesbians.


Wage discrimination Sexual orientation Gay & lesbians 

JEL Classification



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EPEE, Center for Economic Policy StudiesUniversity of Evry-Val d’Essonne & UniverSud Paris, Department of EconomicsEvry cedexFrance

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