The cost of the gay pay gap

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

The cost of the gay pay gap

New episode of the EBRD podcast available for download

The latest episode of the Pocket Economics podcast looks at what it means to be gay or lesbian in the modern workplace, asking how sexuality affects salary levels.

Sexual minorities are one of the most discriminated at the workplace today, with gay workers earning at least 5 per cent less than their straight counterparts, argues Cevat Giray Aksoy, Principal Economist at the EBRD, Researcher at the London School of Economics (LSE) and an expert on inequalities in the labour market.

The main reasons for this pay gap are labour market discrimination and household specialisation, he tells Jonathan Charles, EBRD Managing Director, Communications.

Heterosexual and homosexual couples tend to share household responsibilities in a different way, Mr Aksoy explains. The average partnered heterosexual man is likely to be more focussed on full-time employment than the average partnered gay man.

However, the average partnered heterosexual woman is likely to be less focused on such employment than a lesbian partnered woman.

He also outlines the cost of such discrimination, saying:  “about 50 per cent of LGBT students are regularly harassed at school and most of them skip school to escape harassment. And this indicates waste of human capital in a very large scale.”

According to our latest Life in Transition report, more than 50 per cent of people across the EBRD countries surveyed would prefer not to have gay or lesbian neighbours.