Measuring the Effect of Sexual Orientation on Income: Evidence of Discrimination?

Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 20, pp. 394-414, 2002

21 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2010

See all articles by Nathan Berg

Nathan Berg

University of Otago, Department of Economics

Donald D. Lien

University of Texas at San Antonio - College of Business - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

The effect of nonheterosexuality on individual income is estimated using 1991-1996 General Social Survey data. Other researchers have concluded that homosexuals earn less than similarly qualified workers, in contrast to the popular perception that homosexuals are more affluent than nonhomosexuals. Using improves statistical techniques, this article finds noticeable earnings effects that go in opposite directions across genders. Nonheterosexual men earn 22% less than heterosexual men, and nonheterosexual women earn 30% more than heterosexual women. These findings, viewed together with previous empirical work on this topic, help narrow the field of theories that can explain the sexual-orientation earnings gaps present in the data.

Keywords: GBL, behavioral economics, gay, lesbian, civil rights, logit, logistic, discrete dependent variables, limited dependent variables, misreporting, nonresponse, mis-reporting, non-response

JEL Classification: J78, J31, J11, C24

Suggested Citation

Berg, Nathan and Lien, Donald, Measuring the Effect of Sexual Orientation on Income: Evidence of Discrimination? (2002). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 20, pp. 394-414, 2002 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1692429

Nathan Berg (Contact Author)

University of Otago, Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 56
Dunedin, Otago 9016
New Zealand

Donald Lien

University of Texas at San Antonio - College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

6900 North Loop 1604 West
San Antonio, TX 78249
United States
210-458-4313 (Phone)
210-458-4308 (Fax)

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