Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Chambers College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Santiago Pinto


This dissertation consists of three essays that provide empirical evidence that informs the ongoing debate over the passage of gay and lesbian rights legislation. In Chapter 2 the difference-in-difference-in-difference methodology is used to examine the effect that the passage of a private employment anti-discrimination law has on the relative earnings and employment of gays and lesbians. The results of this analysis indicate that the passage of this law does not have an impact on either relative earnings or employment for lesbians, but it does have an impact on these labor market outcomes for gays. In particular, the passage of this anti-discrimination law increases the relative earnings for gays by 7.5% and reduces their relative probability of being employed by 2.4%. In Chapter 3 a gravity model of state-to-state gay and lesbian migration flows over the period 1995-2000 is estimated in order to analyze the revealed preferences of gays and lesbians for private and public employment anti-discrimination, hate crime, and domestic partnership laws. The results of this examination indicate that private employment anti-discrimination laws reduce in-migration, while public employment anti-discrimination and hate crime laws increase in-migration. Therefore, it appears that gays and lesbians prefer to live in places with public employment anti-discrimination and hate crime laws, and not in places with private employment anti-discrimination laws. In Chapter 4 a spatial hedonic autoregressive model is estimated for the Columbus, OH MSA to examine the impact that the percentage of gay and lesbian households in conservative and liberal neighborhoods has on the house prices in those neighborhoods. The results of the analysis indicate that a .1% point increase in the percentage of gay and lesbian households increases house prices in liberal neighborhoods by .81% and reduces house prices by .24% in conservative neighborhoods. Thus, evidence is provided that is consistent with gay and lesbian households being an amenity to liberal neighborhoods, but a disamenity, likely due to prejudice, to conservative neighborhoods.