DP16852 Reducing Sexual-Orientation Discrimination: Experimental Evidence from Basic Information Treatments

Author(s): Cevat Aksoy, Christopher S. Carpenter, Ralph de Haas, Mathias Dolls, Lisa Windsteiger
Publication Date: January 2022
Keyword(s): Attitudes, discrimination, information treatments, Sexual minorities
JEL(s): D91, J16, J71, O15
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16852

We study basic information treatments regarding sexual orientation using randomized experiments in three countries with strong and widespread anti-gay attitudes: Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Participants who received information about the economic costs to society of sexual-orientation discrimination were significantly more likely than those in a control group to support equal employment opportunities based on sexual orientation. Information that the World Health Organization (WHO) does not regard homosexuality as a mental illness increased social acceptance of sexual minorities, but only for those who reported trust in the WHO. Our results have important implications for policy makers aiming to expand the rights of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people worldwide.