Understanding the Gay Gap: An Empirical Analysis of Sexual Orientation, Disclosure and Earnings

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 03.03.2009, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Erik Plug (University of Amsterdam)


Gay workers tend to earn less than other men. Does this occur because of discrimination or because of selection? In this paper we address this question and collect new information on workplace disclosure to separate out discrimination effects from selection effects. Using a large sample of recently graduated men in the Netherlands, we find that gay workers earn about 3 to 4 percent less than other men. Our disclosure estimates, however, provide little evidence that the labor market discriminates against gay workers. They rather support the selection story, most prominently observed among undisclosed gay workers who concentrate in lower paid occupations, and earn about 5 to 9 percent less than other men.

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