A new GLO Discussion Paper reviews new insights on the economics of sexual orientation, gender identity and their consequences at work.
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GLO Discussion Paper No. 627, 2020
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Labour Market Outcomes: New Patterns and Insights – Download PDF
by Drydakis, Nick & Zimmermann, Klaus F.
GLO Fellow Nick Drydakis
Author Abstract: The paper initiates a research agenda to study new developments of the effects of sexual orientation and gender identity on the labor market performance of individuals. It presents a selection of the small previous literature to establish the important spectrum of topics and identify important challenges to compare them to the papers in the special issue of the International Journal of Manpower (Volume 41, Issue 6) dedicated to Sexual Orientation and the Labor Market. We rely on quantitative empirical studies and compare findings along a variety of topics such as, earnings patterns, occupational access constraints, relationships between subjective well-being indicators and marriage status, workplace experiences and family support all along the sexual orientation and gender identity issues. Contrary to the earlier literature, the most recent studies have found that gay men received either the same wages or higher wages compared to heterosexual men, while lesbian women have been found to receive lower wages in comparison to heterosexual women. We reveal the new evidence on this emerging puzzling pattern of sexual orientation and wages, but highlight also other innovations in the special issue: (i) the first ever meta-analysis of field experiments on occupational access discrimination based on sexual orientation, (ii) utilizing the moderating role of marital status and family support, (iii) studying occupational access discrimination based on gender identity, and (iv) evaluate how distastes, stereotypes, and positive workplace actions affect trans people’s labor market performance. The article attempts to provide a fast and insightful guidance to the major challenges, received wisdom and open issues in the field of sexual orientation and gender identity at work and in the labor market. We summarize the implications provided in all chapters to develop the best evidence-based policy making.
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