What Drives the Gender Gap? An Analysis Using Sexual Orientation

Kyklos 68: 577-608, 2015

27 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2010 Last revised: 15 Jun 2021

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 20, 2015


Gender differences in productivity, if any, that are unobserved to researchers may produce an omitted variable bias in gender gap studies. Finding a subpopulation with less acute differences in unobserved characteristics would allow this concern to be addressed. This paper argues that gays and lesbians are one such interesting group --- for the intra-household division of labor and its effects on market productivity cannot be sex-determined in this subpopulation. Indeed, there are substantial intra-household variations in labor market outcomes and other characteristics; the patterns and magnitudes are similar to different-sex households. Simultaneously, the gender wage gap between gays and lesbians is much smaller than in the heterosexual population; in specifications that control for geographic location it is near zero. These findings suggest that the intra-household division of labor is an important factor driving gender differences in labor market outcomes. Such an interpretation is consistent with recent studies that control for productivity.

Keywords: Gender gap, sexual division of labor, discrimination, specialization

JEL Classification: J16, D10, J22, J24, J70

Suggested Citation

Montag, Josef, What Drives the Gender Gap? An Analysis Using Sexual Orientation (July 20, 2015). Kyklos 68: 577-608, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1624284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1624284

Josef Montag (Contact Author)

Charles University ( email )

nam. Curieovych 7
Prague 1, 11640
Czech Republic

HOME PAGE: http://josefmontag.github.io

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