Using data from the 1990 U.S. Census (PUMS 5%), the authors present the first large-scale study of wage differentials between heterosexual and homosexual men. The homosexual sample, consisting of gay men in unmarried partnered relationships, are estimated to have earned 15.6% less than similarly qualified married heterosexual men, and 2.4% less than similarly qualified unmarried partnered heterosexual men. The authors interpret these two figures as upper- and lower-bound estimates of the differential between homosexual and heterosexual men. The dual comparison enables the authors to disentangle the penalty to being unmarried from other determinants of the wage differential; estimated at 14.1%, this variable appears to be the main source of the wage gap.
Citation: ILR Review, 54(3):631-646. April 2001.