Convergence over time or not? U.S. wages by sexual orientation, 2000–2019
Discrimination, Employment, Sexual orientation, Wages
An extensive literature on labor-market outcomes by sexual orientation finds lower wages for men in same-sex couples and higher wages for women in same-sex couples compared to their counterparts in different-sex couples. Previous studies analyzing multiple time periods provide suggestive evidence that the wage penalty for men in same-sex couples is heading toward zero. Using data from the American Community Survey on individuals in couples from 2000 to 2019, we find no evidence that wages, earnings, or incomes of men in same-sex couples are improving relative to married men in different-sex couples. For women in same-sex couples, we see mixed evidence of convergence relative to married women in different-sex couples. The persistence of a wage penalty for men in same-sex couples is concerning in the face of anti-discrimination policies and rising overall tolerance by Americans with respect to sexual orientation.
Department of Economics
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Jepsen, Christopher and Jepsen, Lisa, "Convergence over time or not? U.S. wages by sexual orientation, 2000–2019" (2022). Faculty Publications. 5179.