Life satisfaction and sexual minorities: evidence from Australia and the United Kingdom

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization


Nattavudh Powdthavee and Mark Wooden

Publication date


Very little is known about how the differential treatment of
sexual minorities could influence subjective reports of overall well-being.
This paper seeks to fill this gap. Data from two large surveys that provide
nationally representative samples for two different countries - Australia and
the UK – are used to estimate a simultaneous equations model of life
satisfaction. The model allows for self-reported sexual identity to influence a
measure of life satisfaction both directly and indirectly through seven
different channels: (i) income; (ii) employment; (iii) health (iv) marriage and
de facto relationships; (v) children; (vi) friendship networks; and (vii)
education. Lesbian, gay and bisexual persons are found to be significantly less
satisfied with their lives than otherwise comparable heterosexual persons. In
both countries this is the result of a combination of direct and indirect

Volume and page numbers

116, 107-126





Social Groups and Well Being



Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

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