Who Gets Hitched?: Documenting Selectivity into Partnership Among LGB and Heterosexual Canadians

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:58
Oral Presentation
Nicole DENIER, Colby College, Canada
Sean WAITE, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Mounting evidence suggests that sexual orientation matters in the labor market. Nonetheless, existing research remains limited by available data. Censuses and labor force surveys, which have high quality, detailed earnings and employment information, often do not have measures of sexual orientation, leaving researchers to identify sexual orientation through conjugal partnership with someone of the same self-identified sex. Health surveys increasingly ask questions about sexual identity and practices but do not offer large sample sizes nor quality measures of labor market outcomes. Thus it remains to be seen how understandings of economic inequality between heterosexual and non-heterosexual populations change based on the type of data used. In particular, a key question is whether LGB and heterosexual singles and couples are similar in terms of characteristics that impact labor market outcomes. In this paper, we draw on the 2003 to 2014 Canadian Community Health Surveys (CCHS) to document how selectivity into partnership varies for heterosexual and lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Specifically, we focus in on how single versus partnered individuals vary in terms of age, educational attainment, occupational status, labor force engagement, and health.