Homosexual men have significantly lower personal incomes than heterosexual individuals
Homosexual women have higher incomes than straight womenCanadian Journal of Economics doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5982.2008.00502.x
Montreal, Canada – October 29, 2008 – A new study in the Canadian Journal of Economics provides the first evidence on sexual orientation and economic outcomes in Canada. The study found that gay men have 12 percent lower personal incomes and lesbians have 15 percent higher personal incomes than heterosexual men and women.
Christopher S. Carpenter of The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California Irvine used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey which includes standard demographic questions as well as self-reports on sexual orientation.
Like previous patterns found in the U.S. and the U.K., results show that gay men have significantly lower personal incomes than similarly situated straight individuals, while lesbians have significantly higher personal incomes than straight women.
Also, similar to gay and straight differences in the U.S., gay men and lesbians in Canada are more likely to live in urban areas and more highly educated than heterosexuals in Canada.
"This is the first work to document statistically and economically meaningful differentials associated with sexual orientation in Canada," Carpenter concludes. "The long-term significance of the study will be to further the call for more research into the causes and consequences of gay/straight differences in Canada and elsewhere."
Sexual orientation, work, and income in Canada
Carpenter, Christopher S.
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.