Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Discrimination

Document Type



Published by Springer Science & Business Media B.V. in the Journal of Labor Research, volume 28 issue 3, 2007. Bryant users may access this article here.

Publication Source

Journal of Labor Research


We develop empirical estimates of the return to sexual orientation in the labor market and utilize the 2004 Current Population Survey to determine if lesbians and gay men are treated differently from their heterosexual counterparts. We find strong evidence consistent with the hypothesis of discriminatory treatment against gay men, and this evidence differs substantially by occupation. On the other hand, we find no evidence of discrimination against lesbians. These findings are consistent with priors based on economic theory of the standard taste for discrimination and statistical discrimination models. The results for both men and women are consistent across wage and total compensation regressions.