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Earnings Differentials of Males and Females in Same-sex and Different-sex Couples in Canada, 2006-2010 Richard E. Mueller Department of Economics.

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Presentation on theme: "Earnings Differentials of Males and Females in Same-sex and Different-sex Couples in Canada, 2006-2010 Richard E. Mueller Department of Economics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Earnings Differentials of Males and Females in Same-sex and Different-sex Couples in Canada, Richard E. Mueller Department of Economics

2 Introduction Gays and lesbians have been able to marry legally since July 2005 – although such marriages recognized before this date in most jurisdictions Discrimination of the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited by Chapter 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Have these rights also extended to the workplace in terms of equal earnings?

3 Previous Literature Most US studies find that gay men earn less, and lesbian women more, although more recent studies show no difference – degree of “gayness” is important Only four previous papers in Canada –Mueller (2007) – uses the GSS –Carpenter (2008), Lafrance, Warman and Woolley (2009) and Harris (2012) all use various waves of the CCHS –All basically find the gay penalty and the lesbian premium for those in couples

4 Identification Problem What is gay, lesbian and bisexual? –Behaviour-based approach proportion of same-sex partners? any same-sex partner? same-sex partner over past 5 years? –Self-identification cohabitating with a same-sex partner direct questioning –Indicator for “gayness” in labour market best, but marriage is a strong signal

5 Data Only three data sets up to the task –Census – largest samples, but not as confidential and only covers coupled gays and lesbians – hasn’t been used yet –CCHS – broader coverage of GLB, but not as confidential –GSS – only partnered gays and lesbians, but a telephone survey which (arguably) elicits more accurate responses

6 Data Use pooled GSS data from Cycles ( ) Keep only those –aged 20 to 60 (attached to LF) –who worked in previous year, –without missing data points –earning more than $5 dollars and less than $500 dollars per hour –who are cohabitating (married or CL)

7 Data problem “Annual personal income” could be from any source, plus it’s a categorical variable –calculate midpoints & transform into 2006 dollars –drop those whose main source of income is not paid employment or SE –do interval regressions (robustness check) Final sample: 14,021 male (90 gays) & and 11,498 females (118 lesbians)

8 Profile of Gays Relative to males in different-sex partnerships, gay males –have identical incomes (statistically) –have more education (esp. Bachelor’s degree or above, 51% vs. 32%) –have less experience, work fewer hours per week, but work more weeks (still fewer yearly hours) –less likely to be married, be an immigrant, or have children present –less likely to work in construction and manufacturing, concentrated in prof. services

9 Profile of Lesbians Relative to females in different-sex partnerships, partnered lesbians –incomes about 40% higher –have more education (esp. Bachelor’s degree or above, 57% vs. 33%) –work more hours per week –less likely to be married or have children present –More likely to be in construction and prof. services, less likely to be in health and SA

10 Results Build up model in a stepwise fashion by adding variables for education, experience, weeks and hours worked, occupation, industry, children, etc. Compared to those of in heterosexual partnerships: –Gay males have an income penalty of 4-5 percent (but not significant) –Lesbians earn about 16 percent more (and this is significant) Results reasonably robust to changes in model and estimation technique

11 Results But (even though results are mostly insignificant): –comparing married gays and lesbians to either CL gays and lesbians or married heterosexuals reduces their relative incomes –limiting the sample to only the self- employed increases their relative incomes

12 Conclusions Gays in partnerships have a relative income penalty of about 5% (but not significant) Lesbians have incomes 16% higher Comparisons with earlier Cdn. literature –increases in relative incomes (but comparisons a bit shaky) – real change or bias due to confidentiality? Weak evidence of discrimination –higher SE income –lower incomes for married gays and lesbians

13 Thank you!


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