SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Economic Case for LGBT Equality: Why Fair and Equal Treatment Benefits Us All

Beacon. May 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780807035603. $26.95. BUS
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How does being LGBT affect economic well-being? For three decades, economist Badgett (Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst) has studied this topic. As a result, Badgett presents the economic case for ending the stigma and discrimination against LGBT people. Excluding LGBT people from participating in a country’s workforce through discrimination and violence not only affects the individual, but can generate a meaningful drop in income and jobs for a nation’s people. While acknowledging discrimination is primarily a human rights issue, Badgett argues that economics and human rights are intertwined. Furthermore, an economic study can aid human rights activists by offering more information and tools for promoting fairness and equality. Badgett begins by demonstrating how LGBT people are currently treated differently in important economic contexts (education, employment, and health), then moves on to examine how economic arguments have made a difference in parts of the world; finally, the author builds a case that discrimination has a literal cost attached to it by estimating the overall losses to countries’ economies from exclusion and discrimination. The book concludes with ideas for actions moving forward.
VERDICT An essential addition to the field of economic studies that is especially vital for academic libraries.

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