Are lesbians subject to labor market discrimination? And can they avoid discrimination by adopting a more conventional lifestyle such as marriage? A new IZA discussion paper by Doris Weichselbaumer examines these questions for Germany. In an experiment she sent out more than 1,200 job applications in Munich and Berlin. The applications were identical except for family status (married vs. single) and sexual orientation (heterosexual vs. lesbian), as indicated through volunteer engagement in a gay and lesbian organization. The results show that discrimination based on sexual orientation is evident in Munich, but not in Berlin. Family status does not seem to matter: Lesbians who are in a “registered partnership” (same-sex marriage) are not treated more favorably than single lesbians.
Munich discriminates against lesbians, Berlin does not
Featured paperIZA Discussion Paper No. 7425 Testing for Discrimination against Lesbians of Different Marital Status: A Field Experiment
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