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Merle Christie
Economics Dept
October 9, 2012

SPEAKER: Prof. RICHARD E. MUELLER (Department of Economics, University of Lethbridge)

TOPIC: “Straight Pay for the Queer Guy? Earnings Differentials of Males and Females in Same-sex Couples in Canada”

Time: Friday, October 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Room: B-650

Same-sex marriage in Canada has been federal law in Canada since July 2005. Although gays and lesbians in Canada may have attained equality in marriage rights, this doesn’t mean that they do not suffer discrimination in other aspects of their lives. In particular, in the labour market there may be earnings differential that may be due to discrimination or other factors which we are unable to observe. This paper utilizes 5 cycles of the General Social Survey in consecutive years from 2006 through 2010 to address the issue of differential earnings amongst members of same-sex couples compared to their counterparts in different-sex couples. We find that men in gay couples have a measurable – but statistically insignificant -- earnings penalty compared to males in heterosexual relationships. A sizeable and statistically significant earnings premium exists for lesbians in same-sex couples. These results are robust to changes in model specification and estimation technique. Finally, we reconcile our results with the sparse literature on gay and lesbian earnings differentials.


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