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Sexual orientation, work, and income in Canada

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Abstract. 

We provide the first evidence on sexual orientation and economic outcomes in Canada using confidential data that ask adults a direct question about their sexual orientation. Gay men have 12% lower personal incomes and lesbians have 15% higher personal incomes than otherwise similar heterosexual men and women, respectively. Different labour force patterns can account for some of the income differentials. We also document large differences in educational attainment, childrearing, and urbanicity that generally mirror patterns found in the US. Finally, we show that applying couples-based approaches common in this literature greatly overstates the magnitudes of gay/straight income gaps.
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Keywords: J1; J7

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Paul Merage School of Business, UC Irvine

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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