The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the true level of discrimination against openly gay and lesbian applicants in hiring decisions in OECD countries as well as on its determinants.
The author presents an overview of all studies conducted in order to test for discrimination against homosexual applicants in the labor market by the correspondence testing method. Moreover, the author performs a meta-analysis of correspondence tests from 18 separate studies conducted in OECD countries to test sexual orientation discrimination, containing more than 70 estimates of effects and representing a total of more than 50,000 resumes sent to employers. In addition to presenting overall results, the author focus on subgroups of specific correspondence tests in order to highlight the differences across gender, type of jobs, procedure, continent and type of information provided in applications.
The author provides evidence that sexual orientation discrimination occurs in the labor market in OECD countries, such that openly homosexual applicants face similar discrimination as ethnic minority applicants. Discrimination is significantly greater in the selection process for low-skilled than for high-skilled jobs. In the selection process for low-skilled jobs, lesbian candidates face significantly lower discrimination than gays (except in jobs that are considered “women’s” jobs). Discrimination is significantly higher in Europe than in North America. Moreover, the way sexual orientation is signaled may influence the level of discrimination found. Finally, discrimination against homosexual applicants is not only a matter of preferences: providing more positive information in applications significantly reduces the level of discrimination.
This paper offers the first quantitative analysis of sexual orientation discrimination in OECD countries through meta-analyses.
The author is grateful to François Cochard and Julie Le Gallo for their excellent research advice. The author thanks Nick Drydakis, the guest Editor of the International Journal of Manpower and three anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments. Financial support from the French National Research Agency (ANR-15-CE28-0004, “DALTON” project) is gratefully acknowledged.
Flage, A. (2019), "Discrimination against gays and lesbians in hiring decisions: a meta-analysis", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-08-2018-0239Download as .RIS
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