Legal Differences in State Non-Discrimination Laws and the Effect of Employment Protections for Gay Men
50 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 16, 2015
This paper studies the impact of legal differences in state-level employment nondiscrimination acts (ENDAs) for gay men on their labor market outcomes. I focus on what effect legal differences have on cohabiting gay men. Using a differences-in-differences approach, the results show that ENDAs increased the wages of gay men when enacted. When treating all laws as the same, ENDAs increase hourly wages by 3.4% and have no effect on employment. When we control for legal differences between laws, the wage increase of ENDAs is shown to be 5.7% in states with damages and not statistically significant in states without damages. ENDAs increase employment by 1.4% in states that do not allow plaintiffs to recoup attorney's fees. In states with the attorney's fees provision, employment declines by 2.7%. Caps on damages result in positive employment growth for gay men. There are significant differences in the effect of ENDAs across demographic groups and geographies.
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