Degree Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Advisor(s)

Barbara Craig
Ellis Tallman

Keywords

Sexual orientation, Earnings, Discrimination, Gay, Lesbian, Queer

Abstract

Using General Social Survey data from 1989 to 2008, I estimate earnings differentials between heterosexual and queer workers. When following the model specified in earlier studies, I find that queer men earn between 11.6% less than their heterosexual counterparts and that queer women earned approximately 11.6% more than their heterosexual counterparts. When respecifying the model to account for the gender composition of individuals’ occupations, I find that queer men’s earnings are not statistically different from straight men’s earnings, and the earnings advantage enjoyed by queer women drops marginally, to 10.5%. This addition significantly improves upon the explanatory power of the existing model. These findings undermine earlier results, indicating that earnings differentials are not as drastic as has been posited. Much of the differential found in earlier studies can be attributed to occupational characteristics rather than labor market discrimination.

Included in

Economics Commons

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