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If you are gay, then what is your pay? An analysis of the earnings of heterosexual and homosexual workers in the Netherlands

Boxebeld, S. (2021) If you are gay, then what is your pay? An analysis of the earnings of heterosexual and homosexual workers in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:Internationally, the literature that explores the existence of any earnings difference between heterosexuals and homosexuals and its underlying factors is growing. The mixed results and typically limited sample sizes of the conducted studies provide the need for replications and further research on the topic. This is especially true for the Netherlands, in which only two studies have been performed on the topic until now, which provide mixed evidence on the existence of any earnings difference between heterosexual and homosexual men. This study re-examines the existence of any earnings difference between heterosexual and homosexual workers in the Netherlands for a newly collected dataset. Moreover, compared to the two previous studies, it includes a larger set of variables that enables a further decomposition of any found earnings difference. Based on a sample of 833 Dutch employees, the study finds no significant earnings difference between heterosexual and homosexual men. A regression analysis shows that for homosexual men, their significantly higher education level, larger work experience and higher occupational status are associated with an earnings premium relative to heterosexual men, while their lower frequency of having dependent children is associated with an earnings penalty. Among women, contrarily, the study finds a substantial earnings premium of about 18% for lesbians relative to heterosexual women. A regression analysis shows that a large part of this earnings premium is associated with lesbian workers’ significantly higher educational attainment, as the earnings difference becomes insignificant after controlling for educational attainment. These findings are in line with most of the previous results for women, while the study’s findings contribute to the mixed evidence on the (non- )existence of a sexual orientation wage gap among men. Our understanding of the labor market outcomes of sexual minorities would benefit from further research exploring the underlying mechanisms. Also, future research on larger datasets would allow one to examine the role of interaction effects, and to analyze the existence and magnitude of any earnings differences by sexual orientations at different points of the wage distribution. Keywords: earnings, sexual orientation, income inequality, wage gap JEL: J15, J31, J71
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 71 sociology, 83 economics, 88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/86050
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