Economics of LGBTQ+ Individuals Virtual Seminar Series

Tuesdays at Noon ET (16:00 UTC)


The one-hour seminar includes a 35-minute presentation by the author and 25 minutes for questions and discussion. Please contact Michael Martell at with any questions or feedback.

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Click here for a list of previous seminars.

Upcoming Seminars

Spring 2022 Seminar Schedule


February 1, 2022
“Economic Outcomes for Transgender People in the United States: First Estimates from a Nationally Representative Sample”
Christopher S. Carpenter ( with Maxine J. Lee and Laura Nettuno

Abstract: We provide the literature’s first estimates of economic outcomes for transgender people and other gender minorities in the United States using nationally representative data from the Household Pulse Survey. We find that non-cisgender individuals – those whose current gender does not match their sex assigned at birth – are significantly less likely to be employed, have higher poverty rates, and report greater COVID-related economic challenges compared to otherwise similar cisgender men. These effects are particularly acute for non-cisgender Black individuals. Our results confirm the precarious economic position of transgender and other gender diverse people in America coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

February 8, 2022

No Seminar 

February 15, 2022
“Elite Endorsement of Emergent Issues in Weak States: Survey Experimental Evidence on Same-sex Marriage in Nepal”
Siddhartha Baral ( with Sarah Rich-Zendel 

Abstract:  Can elite endorsement shift attitudes on emergent socio-political issues in weak states? If so, which source is best positioned to effect opinion change in a context of fractured socio-political authority and why? To examine these questions, we look at attitudes towards same-sex relationship in Nepal, a developing country where sexual and gender minority rights have emerged as a new frontier of legal reform. Through a survey experiment, we investigate whether endorsement by religious leaders, national governments, local civil society organizations, or prominent international agencies move Nepalis’ opinions on same-sex marriage towards increased acceptance. Contrary to our expectations, religious leaders’ and national governments’ support of same-sex marriage do not significantly affect public opinion in either direction. However, endorsement by the United Nations induces significant and substantively large positive attitudinal change. Heterogeneity test by age shows young adults (age 13 - 17 years) as more sensitive to international agency endorsement than older respondents, though the former are also responsive to other sources of support. This effect materializes in the descriptive context of minimal awareness and low perceived salience of same-sex relationship. We therefore find that when reputed international agencies in developing states endorse social inclusion on new issue domains, they can meaningfully shift attitudes even when local sources of authority may fail to do so.

February 22, 2022
“Identifying Effective Strategies to Improve Livelihoods of LGBTI People” and a panel on Research Opportunities related to Development.
Lee Badgett ( with James Heintz 

A growing body of research shows that LGBTI people around the world face unique challenges that severely restrict economic opportunities and livelihoods.  In particular, discrimination in education and employment, family rejection, and absence of adequate social and legal support mechanisms, create barriers to getting and holding jobs and to starting independent businesses. To date, work on livelihoods in LGBTI communities has been circumscribed, with a primary focus on advocacy for anti-discrimination efforts, such as public laws and private employer policies and practices that provide formal workplace opportunities. Outside the LGBTI community, many approaches are already in use to build the economic power of marginalised groups, especially women. Little is known about the extent to which these approaches have been utilized to improve the livelihoods of LGBTI people. This paper draws on data from two recent efforts to identify existing programs that work to improve livelihoods for LGBTI people. Based on 59 projects we identified across more than 23 countries, our analysis found several major types of approaches that are thought to be effective: Skills building (including vocational skills and “soft skills” training), support with getting a job (including job search skills), microfinance programs to start small businesses, skills to start and run a business (including chambers of commerce, and mentoring), impact investing and use of supply chains to support LGBTI-owned businesses. Geographically, the projects identified were concentrated in Latin America & the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia & the Pacific. While the groups targeted by these economic projects were often very broad, we found that transgender people were the most commonly targeted subgroup.

March 1, 2022
“The LGBTQ+ Gap: Recent Estimates for Young Adults in the United States”
Marc Folch (

Abstract: This article provides recent estimates of earnings and mental health for sexual and gender minority young adults in the United States. Using data from a nationally representative sample of bachelor’s degree recipients, I find a significant earnings and mental health gap between self-identified LGBTQ+ graduates and heterosexual cisgender conforming graduates. On average, sexual and gender minorities experience 22% lower earnings ten years after graduation. About half of this gap can be explained by LGBTQ+ graduates being less likely to study and work in a high-paying major and occupation (e.g. STEM and business). In addition, sexual and gender minorities are more than twice more likely to report having a mental illness. I then analyze the role of concealment and find a more pronounced earnings and mental health gap for closeted graduates.

March 8, 2022
“Intergenerational Mobility of LGBTQ+ Individuals”
Santiago Deambrosi (

Abstract: I study the intergenerational mobility of LGBTQ+ individuals in their 20's by comparing how the income and education of parents and their offspring are related---and then drawing distinctions between correlations of queer and non-queer pairs. Recently-released PSID data allows me to identify LGBTQ+ individuals without having to draw assumptions based on marriage (n=300+). I provide further insights on the `queer' experience through Sibling Correlation and Equality of Opportunity approaches, using a rich set of cognitive and behavioral data that also includes information on parent-child relationships, differential treatment and investment, parental gender norms, self-perceived discrimination, and more. Finally, I try to compare the intergenerational mobility rates of two adjacent queer generations to sense whether the rapid advancements in LGBTQ+ civil rights, healthcare, and acceptance are reflected on economic opportunity at young stages of life.

March 15, 2022
“Gender and LGB Pay Gaps in the National Health Service: The Puzzle of Observability and Disclosure”
Karen Mumford (

Abstract:  Studies of the relationship between sexual orientation and pay face difficulties applying standard models of discrimination if orientation is not observable. Analogously, behavioural explanations of pay based on models of gender linked household specialization may not be as relevant in a non-heterosexual context. This article analyses pay gaps using information including earnings, gender, LGB identity, coupling status, and the disclosure of sexual orientation in NHS workplaces. The results reveal a robust gender pay gap of 4% in favour of males but no overall LGB pay gap compared to heterosexuals. The latter is due to similar-sized offsetting effects from disclosure on LGBpay relative to comparable heterosexuals. Amongst LGB employees, disclosure is associated with 13% more pay, with three quarters of this gap related to unexplained differences in returns to observable characteristics. Supportive workplace practices are strongly associated with increased probability of disclosure, especially the availability of a LGB workplace network.

March 22, 2022 

No Seminar – Spring Recess

March 29, 2022
“Do Same-Sex Couples Induce Gentrification?”
Daniel J. Henderson ( with Mia Goodnature and Amanda Ross

Abstract: Policy makers and researchers are interested in what induces gentrification, as gentrification is believed to result in higher-income, more educated households displacing lower- income residents. We examine one possible driver: the influx of same-sex couples into a community. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a relationship between same-sex couples and gentrification, but this could be because these couples sort into neighborhoods that are more likely to gentrify. To address endogeneity concerns, we employ an instrumental variables strategy using voting results for the state-level equivalent of the Defense of Marriage Act in Ohio as an instrument for the change in the number of same-sex couples. We find that areas with a greater increase in the number of same-sex couples are more likely to experience gentrification. In addition, using semi-parametric techniques, we find there is a tipping point after which gentrification is more likely to occur, suggesting that the clustering of same-sex couples is needed to change neighborhoods. These find- ings are important for policy makers because understanding the drivers of gentrification is crucial to designing effective policy to revitalize urban neighborhoods and address any problems associated with gentrification. 

April 5, 2022
“PrEP Availability and Risky Sex”
Samuel Mann (

Abstract:  Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a drug that when taken makes the user virtually immune to HIV. To reduce HIV transmission, numerous countries have made PrEP available for certain groups at high risk of catching HIV. However, this reduced risk of HIV infection might lead to riskier behavior given that the potential harms from risky sex are reduced when taking PrEP. Using panel data on HIV and sexually transmitted infections in 22 European countries I study the effect of making PrEP available to high-risk individuals on HIV and sexually transmitted infections rates. I demonstrate that PrEP significantly reduced the incidence of new HIV infections, but increases incidence of other STI's. However, increases in STIs are much smaller in magnitude than reductions in the much more harmful (and more expensive to treat) HIV, demonstrating that PrEP is a cost-effective way to reduce HIV transmission.  

April 12, 2022
“Effects of Legal Same-Sex Marriage on Employer Offers of Domestic Partner Health Benefits”
Ben Harrell ( with Christopher S. Carpenter and Thomas Hegland

Abstract: Research has demonstrated that legal access to same-sex marriage in the United States – which was granted by a 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges – increased health insurance coverage and access to care among same-sex couples, possibly through a partner’s employer. Many observers noted, however, that firms might stop offering insurance benefits for unmarried partners of employees in the presence of full nationwide marriage equality. No prior research has studied these questions due to lack of employer data. We fill this gap and provide the first evidence on same-sex marriage and employer choices about health insurance benefits by using rich confidential establishment level microdata from the 2013-19 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey – Insurance Component (MEPS-IC). We find clear evidence that although firms were much more likely to offer insurance coverage to unmarried same-sex partners compared to unmarried different-sex partners of employees prior to 2015, firms responded to nationwide marriage equality by significantly reducing insurance offers for unmarried same-sex partners. These reductions in same-sex partner benefits: are exactly coincident with the Obergefell decision, are sustained through 2019, are not observed for unmarried different-sex partner benefits nor for other unrelated benefits such as dental or vision coverage and are unique to the private sector. Notably, these effects are invariant to whether the establishment is located in a state that had already legalized same-sex marriage prior to Obergefell (and thus for whom the decision was less of a treatment), suggesting that firm decisions regarding same-sex partner benefits respond to changes in broader national norms as opposed to the specific local or state policy environment in which the firm operates, consistent with our core findings being driven by large multi-establishment firms with workers in many states. 

April 19, 2022
“Public Health Insurance Expansions and The Spread of Infectious Disease”
Shyam Raman ( with Katherine Wen, Ben Harrell, Sam Mann, and Alex Hollingsworth

Abstract: We investigate the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) facilitated Medicaid expansions on the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV. In administrative data from 2011 to 2019, we identify medications prescribed for PrEP and exploit state-level variations in Medicaid expansion to evaluate their effect on PrEP utilization. Using an event study specification in a two-way fixed effects (TWFE) setting, we estimate the impact of these expansions on PrEP prescriptions, HIV diagnoses, and common sexually transmitted infections. Following recent work, we employ methods which attempt to address the potential for bias arising due to the staggered timing of Medicaid expansions. We find a 70% increase in the utilization of PrEP within the Medicaid population for states which expanded Medicaid compared to those which did not. Additionally, we find a 5% reduction in HIV diagnoses among men and a 9% reduction in HIV diagnoses in ages 25-34. Our results offer evidence that suggests increased access to healthcare increases utilization of drugs which greatly reduce the risk of HIV and has the potential to reduce the spread of HIV.

April 26, 2022 



Previous Seminars


April 15, 2020
Ian Burn, University of Liverpool (with Mike Martell)
"Gender Typicality and Sexual Orientation Earnings Differentials"

April 22, 2020
Shuai Chen, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (with Jan van Ours)
"Mental Health Effects of Same-Sex Marriage Legalization"

April 29, 2020
David Schwegman, American University (with Mattie Mackenzie-Liu and Leonard Lopoo)
"Do Foster Care Agencies Discriminate Against Gay Couples? Evidence from a Correspondence Study" 

May 6, 2020
Kitt Carpenter, Vanderbilt University (with Gilbert Gonzales Jr. Tara McKay and Dario Sansone)
"Effects of the Affordable Care Act Dependent Coverage Mandate on Health Insurance Coverage for Individuals in Same-Sex Couples" 

May 13, 2020
Charlie Whittington (she/her), Human Rights Campaign Foundation (with Dan Stewart (he/him))
"The Moderating Role of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Relationship Between Income and Complications During COVID-19 Infection" 

May 20, 2020
Ian Chadd, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (with Billur Aksoy)
"Queer Preferences for Competition" 

May 27, 2020
Travis Campbell, University of Massachusetts - Amherst (with Lee Badgett and Everest Brennan)
"Beyond the Gender Binary: Transgender Labor Force Status in the United States 2014-2017" 

June 3, 2020
Emily Nix, University of Southern California (with Martin Eckhoff Andresen)
"What Causes the Child Penalty and How Can it be Reduced? Evidence from Same-Sex Couples and Policy Reforms" 

June 10, 2020
Matthew Shannon, University College, Dublin
"The Labour Market Outcomes of Transgender Individuals"

June 17, 2020
Connor Redpath, University of California, San Diego
"Access to Marriage Affects Couples’ Assortativeness: Evidence from Same-Sex Marriage Legalization"

June 24, 2020
Michael Martell, Bard College
"Tolerance and the Labor Supply of Gays and Lesbians"

July 1, 2020
Joanne Hadaad, University of Ottawa (with Abel Brodeur)
"Institutions, Attitudes and LGBT: Evidence from the Gold Rush" 

July 15, 2020
Ralph Dehaas, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, CEPR, and Tilburg University (with Victoria Baranov and Pauline Grosjean)
"Men. Roots and Consequences of Masculinity Norms" 

August 26, 2020
Raquel Fernandez, New York University (with Sahar Parsa and Martina Viarengo)
"Coming Out in America"

September 16, 2020
Roberto Ivo da Rocha Lima Filho, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
"Decision Neuroscience Applied to a Trading Environment: An EEG Approach"

September 23, 2020
Nir Eilam, University of Texas, Austin (with Scott Delhommer)
"PrEP and Moral Hazard"

October 7, 2020
Luca Fumarco and Eva Dils, Tulane University (with Patrick Button, Benjamin Harrell, and David J. Schwegman)
"Gender Identity, Race, and Ethnicity Discrimination in Access to Mental Health Care: Evidence from an Audit Field Experiment" 

October 14, 2020
William Delgado, University of Chicago
"Teachers’ Comparative Advantage, School Segregation, and Educational Mobility in Chicago Public Schools"

October 21, 2020
Hyunmin Park, University of Chicago
"Specific Human Capital and Employment Dynamics"

October 28, 2020
Hani Mansour, University of Colorado, Denver
"Voting and Political Participation in the Aftermath of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic"

November 18, 2020
Ylva Moberg, Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) (with Marie Evertsson and Maaike van der Vleuten)
"The child penalty in same-sex and different-sex couples in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland" 

December 2, 2020
Raquel Fernandez, New York University (with Sahar Parsa and Martina Viarengo)
"Coming Out in America" 

December 9, 2020
Lucas Tilley will present "The Labor Market and Health Effects of Gender Dysphoria: Evidence from Sweden" (with Ian Burn, Ylva Moberg and Emma von Essen)

December 16, 2020
Sheheryar Banuri (University of East Anglia) "On the process of discrimination in healthcare: A field experiment with Pakistan’s Transgender community" (with Husnain F. Ahmad and Farasat Bokhari)


February 2, 2021
Samuel Mann, Swanswea University
"Sexual Orientation, Political Trust, and Same-Sex Relationship Recognition Policies: Evidence from Europe"

February 16, 2021
Marcus Dillender, University of Illinois at Chicago
"Does Place-Based Federal Health Funding Work? Evidence and Lessons from the Fight against HIV/AIDS"

March 2, 2021
Bridget Hiedemann and Lisa Brodoff, Seattle University
"Marriage Equality and Activity Limitations among Older Adults in Same-Sex Relationships"

March 16, 2021
Travis Campbell, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
"Health insurance coverage and health outcomes among transgender adults in the U.S."

March 30, 2021
Silvia Palmaccio, KU Leuven
"Early Labor Market Outcomes of Children in Same-Sex Families: Evidence from Population Data"

April 13, 2021
Joshua Martin, West Virginia University
"The Effect of Same-Sex Partnership Laws on Adoptions and Family Formation in the US"

April 20, 2021
Max Lee, San Francisco State University
"Schooling and Coming Out: Education as a Coping Mechanism"

May 4, 2021
Billur Aksoy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
"Hidden Identity and Social Preferences: Evidence From Sexual Minorities"

May 18, 2021
Raquel Fernandez, New York University (with Sahar Parsa and Martina Viarengo)
"Coming Out in America"

July 20, 2021
Mike Martell, Bard College
“Labor market differentials estimated with researcher-inferred and self-identified sexual orientation”

August 31, 2021
Billur Aksoy, Christopher “Kitt” Carpenter, and Dario Sansone
"Survey Experiments on LGBTQ Individuals: A Preliminary Design"

September 14th at 12:00 ET:
Moving for Love? Migration in Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Relationships
Etienne Makdissi (

September 21 at 12:00 ET:
Heated Tobacco Products (HTP) Taxation and Tobacco Use in Japan and Korea
Shaoying Ma (, Ce Shang, Kai-Wen Cheng, Hye Myung Lee, Hong Gwan Seo, Sungkyu Lee, Sujin Lim, Sung-il Cho, Shannon Gravely, Steve Xu, Anne C. K. Quah and Geoffrey T. Fong

September 28th at 12:00 ET:
How Does the Earned Income Tax Credit Affect Household Expenditures for Single Female Heads of Households?
Arian Seifoddini (

October 5th at 12:00 ET:
Duration Dependence: Learning from Advance Notice
Div Bhagia (

October 12th at 12:00 ET:
Gender Differences in the Cost of Corrections in Group Work
Yuki Takahashi (

October 19th at 12:00 ET:
Estimating the nature of corruption: evidence from a policy experiment in Brazil
Murilo Ramos (

October 26th at 12:00 ET:
From Taxation to Fighting for the Nation: Historical Fiscal Capacity and Military Draft Evasion during WWI
Luca Bagnato (

November 2nd at 12:00 ET: 
Same-Sex Couples and Parental Earnings Dynamics
Rachel Nesbit ( (with Barbara Downs, Lucia Foster, and Danielle Sandler)

November 9th at 12:00 ET:
The effects of anti-LGBTQ+ curriculums: Evidence from Utah's 'no promo homo' repeal
Santiago Deambrosi (

November 16th at 12:00 ET:
Do gender-nonconforming peers influence their classmates' life outcomes?
Abigail R. Banan (

November 23rd at 12:00 ET:

December 7th at 12:00 ET:
Employer Sponsored Health Insurance and Labor Market Outcomes for Gay Men: Evidence from the Advent of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
Conor Lennon (

December 14th at 12:00 ET:
The introduction of Prep and HIV: Incidence, Mortality and Heterogeneity
Sebastian Tello-Trillo (