Academic journal article Contemporary Economic Policy

How ENDAs Extend the Workweek: Legal Protection and the Labor Supply of Behaviorally Gay Men

Academic journal article Contemporary Economic Policy

How ENDAs Extend the Workweek: Legal Protection and the Labor Supply of Behaviorally Gay Men

Article excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Twenty-two states including the District of Columbia have implemented Employment Nondiscrimination Acts (ENDAs) making sexual orientation discrimination illegal. Congress has repeatedly introduced a federal ENDA, and it is likely that an ENDA will be introduced in the future. In considering the expansion of employment discrimination protection for lesbians, gay, and bisexual persons, understanding the impact of employment discrimination protections is important. This article contributes to the very small literature assessing the impact of ENDAs on the economic experiences of behaviorally gay men. I investigate the impact of ENDAs on labor supplies because discrimination and prejudicial treatment are likely to affect the behavior of gay workers in addition to the treatment they experience on the job. While some work has shown that ENDAs decrease wage differentials experienced by behaviorally gay men (Baumle and Poston 2011; Gates 2009; Klawit-ter 2011; Martell 2013b), there is only one scholarly inquiry that shows that behaviorally gay men work more in states with ENDAs (Klawitter 2011). However, this finding is only representative of cohabiting behaviorally gay men. My findings that ENDAs increase the labor supply of single as well as cohabiting behaviorally gay men will guide policymakers who are considering the implementation of future ENDAs and contributes to our knowledge of the labor market impacts of ENDAs.

I am the first to investigate labor supplies of the entire population of behaviorally gay men. Previous research in this area utilized data that is only representative of those who cohabit with a partner of the same-sex. Given that much less than half of the behaviorally gay population cohabit (Black et al. 2000), it is unclear a priori if the labor supply patterns observed in a sample of men who cohabit with men will also be observed in a sample of single and cohabiting behaviorally gay men.(1) Researchers have long noted that marriage is an important determinant in many economic experiences (Loh 1996). Therefore, it is important to verify if differentials documented for those in same-sex households also occur for single behaviorally gay men as the wage differentials among same-sex couples may be related to varying labor-leisure tradeoffs behaviorally gay households enjoy (Berg and Lien 2002). While most research focuses on earnings. I assess the impact of ENDAs on an under-researched labor market differential: the number of hours worked weekly. I build on the policy analysis literature by estimating the impact of anti-discrimination laws on labor supply patterns. I find that ENDAs increase the likelihood that behaviorally gay men enter the labor market by roughly 7%. Further, I find that ENDAs increase the labor supply of behaviorally gay men by roughly 15-20 h per week.

To arrive at these results, I use General Social Survey(2) data and estimate probit and Tobit labor supply models. Using restricted access creococle data I am able to control for state-level intolerance of homosexuality and the existence of state ENDAs. My results are representative of single and cohabiting behaviorally gay men. I document a significant impact of ENDAs even when controlling for state-level intolerance of homosexuality and regional controls that are highly correlated with the adoption of ENDAs.

These results make important contributions to the existing literature. I contribute to an understanding of the labor market choices of behaviorally gay men by being the first to show that ENDAs increase the labor supply of single and cohabiting behaviorally gay men. The findings suggest that ENDAs increase workplace tolerance and thereby decrease the clistaility of labor and motivate behaviorally gay men to work more. This result highlights that differential labor market outcomes for behaviorally gay men are not simply the result of choices behaviorally gay men make but also reactions to social prejudice. …

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