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Sexual orientation discrimination in the Cypriot labour market. Distastes or uncertainty?

Nick Drydakis (Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK and Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA), Bonn, Germany)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 29 July 2014




Sexual orientation and employment bias is examined in Cyprus by implementing an experiment for the period 2010-2011. The design is aimed at answering three main questions. Do gay males and lesbians face occupational access constraints and entry wage bias than comparable heterosexuals? Do gay males and lesbians benefit from providing more job-related information? Does the differential treatment between gay male/lesbian and heterosexual applicants disappear as the information of the applicants increases? The paper aims to discuss these issues.


The author sent applications to advertised vacancies and experimented with two information sets the “sexual orientation” and “information” of the potential applicants.


The estimations suggest that gay male and lesbian applicants face significant bias than heterosexual applicants. Moreover, both heterosexual and gay male/lesbian applicants gain by providing more job-related information. However, the estimations suggest that the informational premium for sexual orientation minorities could not reduce the discriminatory patterns.

Practical implications

The current results indicate that discrimination against sexual orientation minorities in the Cypriot labour market is a matter of preference, not the result of limited information. One strategy the Cypriot government may employ is to try to affect public opinion and people's attitudes towards sexual orientation minorities.


This is the first nationwide field experiment in the Cypriot labour market and contributes to the literature as it is the first field study on sexual orientation which tries to disentangle statistical from taste-based discrimination in the labour market.



JEL Classifications — C93, J7, J82

The author is grateful for the helpful comments from the editor of the journal International Journal of Manpower, Professor Adrian Ziderman (University of Bar-Ilan) and from two anonymous referees on earlier drafts of this paper.


Drydakis, N. (2014), "Sexual orientation discrimination in the Cypriot labour market. Distastes or uncertainty?", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 720-744.



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