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Occupational segregation by sexual orientation in the U.S.: exploring its economic effects on same-sex couples

Coral del Rio Otero () and Olga Alonso-Villar

Review of Economics of the Household, 2019, vol. 17, issue 2, 439-467

Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the importance of the occupational sorting of individuals in same-sex couples in explaining the economic position of lesbian women and gay men beyond controlling for occupation in the estimation of their respective wage gaps, as usually done in the literature. The analysis reveals that the distribution of partnered gay men across occupations brings them a monetary gain, with respect to the average wage of coupled workers, whereas the occupational sorting of partnered lesbian women only allows them to depart from the large losses that straight partnered women have. The results show that when controlling for educational achievements, immigration profile, racial composition, and age structure, the gain for gay men associated with their occupational sorting shrinks substantially. Moreover, the small gain that lesbian women derive from their distribution across occupations turns into an earning disadvantage when one controls for characteristics. This leaves them with a loss, with respect to the average wage of coupled workers, that is not too different from to the one partnered straight women have. It is their higher educational attainments and, to a lower extent, their lower immigration profile that protects workers in same-sex couples, revealing that gay men do not enjoy the privilege of straight partnered men and that lesbian women are not free from the mark of gender.

Keywords: Sexual orientation; Gender; Occupational segregation; Wages; Well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 I31 J15 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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