Article

Same-Sex Marriage and Negative Externalities

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Objectives. Conventional theory regarding externalities and personal choices implies that in the absence of negative externalities, there is no economic rationale for government to regulate or ban those choices. We evaluate whether legally recognizing (or prohibiting) same-sex marriage has any adverse impact on societal outcomes specifically related to “traditional family values.” Methods. Using data from 1990 to 2004 in the U.S. states, with statistical controls appropriate for the particular model, and with fixed effects, we test the claim of the Family Research Council that same-sex marriage will have negative impacts on marriage, divorce, abortion rates, the proportion of children born to single women, and the percent of children in female-headed households. Results. We find no statistically significant adverse effect from allowing gay marriage. Bans on gay marriage, when they are not overturned, appear to be associated with a lower abortion rate and a lower percentage of children in female-headed households. However, allowing gay marriage also shows the same or stronger associations. Conclusions. The argument that same-sex marriage poses a negative externality on society cannot be rationally held. Although many might believe that this conclusion is so obvious that it does not warrant testing, many politicians use this argument as a fact-based rationale to legitimize bans on same-sex marriage.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... The more the better, as it will reduce the chance of finding differences between the groups on the important variables in question. You might try controlling for state of residence (there are 50 of them!; Rosenfeld, 2010); it will sound so logical and yet water down almost anything you evaluate, especially if your overall sample size is small compared to the total number of variables used (Langbein & Yost, 2009)! This is especially defensible in the U.S. because geography is becoming closely associated with the moral and political values of the populace in the United States (Bishop, 2008;Silk & Walsh, 2008;Cahn & Carbone, 2010), so that controlling for state of residence can reduce the apparent effects of virtually any outcome of interest. ...
... A moderating variable explains how the effect of one variable on another may differ across two or more groups (e.g., smoking causes more genetic damage for women than for men so that women are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer later in life; gender is the moderating variable). Sometimes control variables can have subset effects as moderators; for example, one might try to control for religion by using affiliation (e.g., Christian vs non-Christian; Langbein & Yost, 2009). However, if some Christians are pro-tobacco and others are anti-tobacco, affiliation will likely not be a very helpful control variable. ...
... While his statement clearly supports freedom of religion, it implies that he would rather have neighbors (of any religion) who lived according to Principle B than have those who lived according to Principle A. And today it appears that religious persons are far more likely to subscribe to Principle B, and presumably reject living by Principle A, than are those who describe themselves as non-religious (Luntz, 2009). For example, even Langbein and Yost (2009) found that the "percent Christian" (even though a poor measure of general religiosity and not inclusive of all religions) by states of the USA predicted significantly (p < .01) lower rates of divorce, abortion, and out-of-wedlock births. ...
Article
Full-text available
Students, lawyers, and other professionals are sometimes unfamiliar with scientific methodology or the proper use of statistics. Even so, it is likely that they will confront attempts to use social science to prove a null hypothesis, when the data might suggest otherwise if properly handled. As a didactic device, following Erasmus and C. S. Lewis, advice is provided on “how to misuse” social science for one's own purposes, in hopes that future scholars will not be misled by such inappropriate, though not infrequent, practices.
... However, if laws restricting certain types of otherwise voluntary marriage contracts either reduce gains to the individuals involved or gains to society, then those laws may exacerbate social costs, rather than reduce them. That is our focus in this paper, as well as the focus of limited previous research (see Langbein & Yost Jr., 2009;Trandafir, 2014aTrandafir, , 2015. 4 One of the earliest quantitative analyses of the impact of same-sex marriage laws in the USA was Langbein and Yost Jr. (2009) finding of no negative externalities imposed by its legalization. Critiqued for its limited time frame, questionable data replicability, and low statistical power (Allen & Price, 2015), the Langbein and Yost study leverages empirical causal identification strategies to scrutinize the hypothesized negative effects of same-sex marriage. ...
... However, if laws restricting certain types of otherwise voluntary marriage contracts either reduce gains to the individuals involved or gains to society, then those laws may exacerbate social costs, rather than reduce them. That is our focus in this paper, as well as the focus of limited previous research (see Langbein & Yost Jr., 2009;Trandafir, 2014aTrandafir, , 2015. 4 One of the earliest quantitative analyses of the impact of same-sex marriage laws in the USA was Langbein and Yost Jr. (2009) finding of no negative externalities imposed by its legalization. Critiqued for its limited time frame, questionable data replicability, and low statistical power (Allen & Price, 2015), the Langbein and Yost study leverages empirical causal identification strategies to scrutinize the hypothesized negative effects of same-sex marriage. ...
... Critiqued for its limited time frame, questionable data replicability, and low statistical power (Allen & Price, 2015), the Langbein and Yost study leverages empirical causal identification strategies to scrutinize the hypothesized negative effects of same-sex marriage. The fact that Langbein and Yost Jr. (2009) found no such causation has been affirmed in succeeding scholarship using a longer time frame (e.g., Dillender, 2014;Trandafir, 2014aTrandafir, , 2014bTrandafir, , 2015. For example, using difference-in-difference strategies, Dillender (2014) also found no support for claims that same-sex marriage reduces opposite-sex marriage rates in the USA. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Previous research examines the effects of same-sex marriage on many child and family outcomes, but only a small subset examines the effects of laws on those outcomes. We evaluate the effects of same-sex marriage legalization in the USA on four socio-familial outcomes. Methods We use currently available public data from the U.S. Census and CDC to analyze changes in state-level legalization of same-sex marriage on rates of child poverty, divorce, marriage, and children living in single-parent households within each state from 2011 to 2016. The estimators use traditional cross-sectional time-series methodologies, along with adjusting for high-dimensional fixed-effects (HDFE) clustering to account for both spatial and temporal dependence of state-time observations. Results We find no evidence to validate claims of negative ramifications from same-sex marriage legalization on these outcomes. Discussion With respect to the arguments articulated in Supreme Court amici briefs, we show that assertions of negative social effects of legalized same-sex marriage are largely unsupported. Conclusion In addition to illustrating the gains from HDFE estimators, we conclude that warnings of likely negative effects from same-sex marriage, such as disallowing adoption by same-sex couples, are not credible.
... Therefore, we would argue that the large number of predictor variables was playing at least part of a role in reducing the apparent covariance between income satisfaction and job satisfaction. It could be argued that our ratio of cases to variables was small (below 5), which is correct; however, that wasn't a barrier in the Langbein and Yost (2009) study in which the number of predictors variables was at least 65 in some analyses for samples as small as n = 141. It could also be argued that our adjusted R-squared was unacceptably large, at between 0.482 and 0.834; however, Langbein and Yost (2009, p. 301) reported Rsquared values between .85 and 0.94, higher than those we obtained. ...
... We have seen models featuring as many as 65 (Langbein and Yost, 2009) or even 77 independent variables (Rosenfeld, 2010), which would represent far more possibilities, yet those authors presented results for only a handful of models among the tens of millions possible). Rosenfeld (2010) in a footnote (#10, p. 768) noted that if you restricted the model to highly educated parents, then children of heterosexual couples made significantly more progress through school than the children of same-sex couples, indicating there was at least one model that contradicted his primary reported models. ...
... In the same way, we presented only one complete model out of more than eight million possibilities, reaching a conclusion that would disagree with most of the other millions of models. While our analysis can be criticized for a low ratio of cases to variables (34-58/24), Langbein and Yost (2009) had at least one situation of 141 cases for 65 variables, a similarly low ratio of cases to variables. Allen and Price (2015) critiqued Yost (2009, 2015) for this in terms of low power, but our comments aim more at the effect of the addition of multiple variables for diminishing the apparent substantive importance of independent variables, even if the effect sizes remain of small to medium nature. ...
... Variation in timing is commonly used in the literature to estimate the causal impact of policy on economic outcomes (Autor et al. 2006;Adams and Cotti 2008). More specifically, recent work has used plausibly exogenous implementation to separately identify the causal effect of same-sex marriage on risky behavior (Dee 2008) and household dynamics like marriage, divorce, and extramarital births (Langbein and Yost 2009;Dillender 2014;Trandafir 2015). ...
... An important assumption is that the same-sex marriage does not impact the behavior of other mortgage applicants. Trandafir (2015), Dillender (2014) and Langbein and Yost (2009) find that the introduction of same-sex marriage had no effect on heterosexual family formation, including marriage, divorce, and extramarital births. ...
Article
Full-text available
Marriage for same-sex couples was only permitted in a limited number of states prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. We exploit panel variation across states prior to the Supreme Court decision to investigate the effect of marriage laws on demand for mortgage credit. Identification relies on the fact that states permitted same-sex marriage at different points in time, often through court order whereby the outcome and timing of ruling was unknown. We estimate that states permitting same-sex marriage experienced a 6–16% increase in same-sex mortgage applications after the policy was implemented. Federal recognition of marriage is associated with a stronger effect than state same-sex marriage prior to the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, but the effect of state-recognized marriage is also stronger than anti-discrimination policies in housing. Our findings provide important insight not only to the housing choices of same-sex households but the impact of marriage on all households.
... A similar question has been posed in the academic arena with respect to opposite sex marriage rates in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and the Netherlands, and no significant change in opposite sex marriage and divorce rates following enactment of same sex marriage laws was found [20]. The academic literature quantitatively assessing the effect of same sex marriage laws on rates of opposite sex marriage in the U.S. is tiny, with, we believe, just one study that analyzed a static model of marriage rates from three years (1990, 2000, and 2004) and found a significant positive association between ''gay marriage, or full legal recognition like civil unions'' and state marriage rates [21]. Despite the argument that legalizing same sex marriage will decrease the rates of opposite sex marriage, some opposite sex couples in the U.S. are currently boycotting marriage until it is available to all [22,23]. ...
... We found that state rates of opposite sex marriage in the U.S. from 1989–2009 do not significantly differ when same sex marriage and union laws are in force compared to when they are not in force, contrary both to concerns raised by opponents of same sex marriage and same sex civil unions, and to the positive association reported by Langbein and Yost [21]. We found no evidence of an increase in state-level opposite sex marriage rates corresponding to a first year effect of same sex marriage, contradicting the marriage equality hypothesis. ...
Article
Full-text available
Marriage benefits both individuals and societies, and is a fundamental determinant of health. Until recently same sex couples have been excluded from legally recognized marriage in the United States. Recent debate around legalization of same sex marriage has highlighted for anti-same sex marriage advocates and policy makers a concern that allowing same sex couples to marry will lead to a decrease in opposite sex marriages. Our objective is to model state trends in opposite sex marriage rates by implementation of same sex marriages and other same sex unions. Marriage data were obtained for all fifty states plus the District of Columbia from 1989 through 2009. As these marriage rates are non-stationary, a generalized error correction model was used to estimate long run and short run effects of same sex marriages and strong and weak same sex unions on rates of opposite sex marriage. We found that there were no significant long-run or short run effects of same sex marriages or of strong or weak same sex unions on rates of opposite sex marriage. A deleterious effect on rates of opposite sex marriage has been argued to be a motivating factor for both the withholding and the elimination of existing rights of same sex couples to marry by policy makers-including presiding justices of current litigation over the rights of same sex couples to legally marry. Such claims do not appear credible in the face of the existing evidence, and we conclude that rates of opposite sex marriages are not affected by legalization of same sex civil unions or same sex marriages.
... The absence of a DOMA in a state did not mean that the state was supportive of marriage to same-sex couples, but rather that the state was not actively against marriages to same-sex couples. Although these policies are not associated with the formation or stability of marriages to different-sex couples at the aggregate level (Dillender 2014;Langbein and Yost 2009), no study has assessed this policy indicator and the stability of same-sex or different-sex cohabiting couples. We introduce policy environment for same-sex couple relationships by including an indicator measuring whether the state of residence is one in which DOMA has been enacted by a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union of a woman and a man. ...
... 7 These findings show that DOMA policy was associated with lower relationship stability for cohabiting couples, which is consistent with prior work that established the importance of context in assessments of stability (Joyner et al. 2014). Yet, DOMA policy is not associated with relationship stability for married couples, which is consistent with aggregate-level analyses showing no association between DOMA policies and different-sex marriage and divorce (Dillender 2014;Langbein and Yost 2009). The DOMA legislation indicator may be a proxy for other contextual variables that are associated with stability. ...
Article
Relationship stability is a key indicator of well-being, but most U.S.-based research has been limited to different-sex couples. The 2008 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) provides an untapped data resource to analyze relationship stability of same-sex cohabiting, different-sex cohabiting, and different-sex married couples (n = 5,701). The advantages of the SIPP data include the recent, nationally representative, and longitudinal data collection; a large sample of same-sex cohabitors; respondent and partner socioeconomic characteristics; and identification of a state-level indicator of a policy stating that marriage is between one man and one woman (i.e., DOMA). We tested competing hypotheses about the stability of same-sex versus different-sex cohabiting couples that were guided by incomplete institutionalization, minority stress, relationship investments, and couple homogamy perspectives (predicting that same-sex couples would be less stable) as well as economic resources (predicting that same-sex couples would be more stable). In fact, neither expectation was supported: results indicated that same-sex cohabiting couples typically experience levels of stability that are similar to those of different-sex cohabiting couples. We also found evidence of contextual effects: living in a state with a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage was significantly associated with higher levels of instability for same- and different-sex cohabiting couples. The level of stability in both same-sex and different-sex cohabiting couples is not on par with that of different-sex married couples. The findings contribute to a growing literature on health and well-being of same-sex couples and provide a broader understanding of family life.
... Some have considered the rise in samesex marriages as discouraging opposite-sex marriages. This interpretation has been appropriated by some policymakers to reverse same-sex marriage legislation (Langbein and Yost 2009). However, there is no reasonable rationale for a causation relation between the increasing number of same-sex marriages and the decline of opposite-sex ones (Dinno and Whitney 2013). ...
Chapter
Marriage rates have shown short-term and long-term fluctuations over time. Particularly since the early 1980s, a decreasing pattern of marriage rates in most developed western societies seems to be emerging. Nevertheless, marriage still exerts an important influence in people's lives, particularly in less developed societies. This entry reviews some of the factors behind the decrease in marriage rates. It is suggested that women's educational levels and work opportunities, cultural factors, cohabitation, and imbalanced sex ratios have played a major role in the decline of marriage rates.
... A growing literature analyzes the effect of same-sex marriage legalization on different socioeconomic and demographic variables. Langbein and Yost (2009) explored whether the legal recognition of same-sex marriage has had an adverse impact on outcomes related to traditional family values, and found that it did not have a negative effect. Hatzenbuehler et al. (2012) studied the effect of the enactment of same-sex marriage legislation in Massachusetts on health care use and expenditures among gay and bisexual men, and Francis et al. (2012) analyzed the relationship between same-marriage laws and sexually transmitted infections. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyzes the impact of marriage regulations on the migratory behavior of individuals using the history of the liberalization of same-sex marriage across the USA. The legalization of same-sex marriage allows homosexuals’ access to legal rights and social benefits, which can make marriage more attractive in comparison to singlehood or other forms of partnership. The results clearly show that legalization increased the migration flow of gay men to states that legalized same-sex marriage. We do not detect statistically significant effects for women in the short term. Supplemental analysis, developed to explore whether the migration flow translated to a significant effect on the number of homosexuals by state, suggests that the increase after the legalization of same-sex marriage was transitory. Legalization of same-sex marriage also reduces the incentives for non-US-native individuals originating from intolerant countries to move to a state that permits same-sex marriage.
... A quick review of the sociological literature reveals discussions on attitudes towards same-sex marriage (Baunach 2012), research on gay marriage bans (McVeigh andDiaz 2009, Soule 2004), the intersection of religion and (opposition to) gay marriage (Langbein andYost 2009, Sherkat et. al 2010), and the symbolism of same-sex weddings (Kimport 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
The United States marriage rights movement just culminated in July 2015 with the Supreme Court declaring same-sex marriage constitutional. The mainstream — the mainstream media and the mainstream LGBT rights movement — all applaud this trajectory, with no attention to those who get left behind in marriage politics. In this paper, I will argue that same-sex marriage is in need of a materialist feminist analysis. I will critique my discipline — Sociology — for failing to adequately theorize same-sex marriage as a key component of the 21st Century landscape of the capitalist mode of production. I will also critique the mainstream LGBT rights movement and the media attention given same-sex marriage for their lack of attention to the classed relations embedded in marriage rights. A materialist feminist analysis will allow us to see that there’s still a need for a larger, more emancipatory sexual politics.
... Despite the number of studies examining the impact of SSMLs on employment (Hansen et al. 2020;Sansone 2019), health (Francis et al. 2012), family values (Langbein and Yost 2009), and health coverage and utilization (Carpenter et al. 2021;Dillender 2015), there is limited research on the relationship between legalization of same-sex marriage and hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation. Three studies are more closely related to the research topic (King and Sutton 2013;Levy and Levy 2017;Shawntozi 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of same‐sex marriage laws on the victimization of sexual minorities has not received much attention in the literature. Using state‐level panel data within a difference‐in‐differences framework, I examine how the legalization of same‐sex marriage affects hate crimes. The results show that same‐sex marriage laws decrease sexual orientation‐motivated hate crimes, with stronger effects on gay men. This is consistent with the laws increasing tolerance toward and acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, further supported by complementary analysis from Google Trends data. This is also the first study to examine the effects of marriage equality on allegations of employment discrimination due to sexual orientation based on information from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The findings support that marriage equality laws have an additional beneficial effect: the laws not only decrease hate crimes, but they also decrease the incidence of employment discrimination (at worst, the laws do not affect discriminatory practices).
... While there is certainly some truth to this view, the manipulation of cultural values by both religious groups and political parties can have independent influences on individuals' policy preferences. By actively using political resources to oppose granting civil rights to GLBT persons, the Republican Party directly influenced preferences regarding same-sex marriage, and helped manufacture grievances related to the negative externalities that same-sex marriage would supposedly produce (McCarthy and Zald, 1977;Wildavsky, 1987;Langbein and Yost, 2009). ...
Article
We examine how religious and political factors structure support for same-sex marriage in the United States over the last two decades. Using data from the General Social Surveys, we show that respondents who identify more strongly with the Republican Party, sectarian denominations, and those who subscribe to biblical fundamentalism and political conservatism are substantially more opposed to same-sex marriage than are other Americans. Heterogeneous ordinal logistic regression models show that these religious and political factors have become more important over the last two decades. Cohorts born after 1945 became substantially more supportive of marriage rights between 1988 and 2008, but shifts in support for marriage rights were less sizeable for persons affiliated with sectarian denominations, religious fundamentalists, Republicans, and political conservatives. Estimates from structural equation models show that religious factors influence political conservatism and Republican identification, yet both religious and political factors have significant and substantial independent direct effects on support for same-sex marriage.
... 3 It will be interesting to see how the family landscape will change in the coming years as more same-sex couples marry. Research has shown that legalizing same-sex marriage raises marriage rates, reduces abortion, and decreases the number of children who grow up in single parent families (Langbein & Yost, 2009). Though it is not the case that children of single parent households will lead poor quality lives, economic burdens almost always fall harder on single parents, particularly if they have lower levels of education and are female (Garrett & Lantos, 2013). ...
Article
Same-sex marriage is currently at the forefront of many political debates worldwide, and one of the main concerns for both sides of the marriage debate is the well-being of children being raised in same-sex families. This paper reviews various areas of research in order to discover whether or not children are at a disadvantage if they are raised in a same-sex family. Findings suggest that while children who grow up in same-sex families face unique challenges that would not occur in heterosexual families, the overall quality of life is comparable to that of children in heterosexual families. Negative attitudes toward same-sex couples raising children are related to the presence of heterosexual privilege in society.
... Further, most of the existing work on its impact focuses on people in different-sex relationships. Legalizing same-sex marriage does not harm different-sex relationships (Dillender 2014;Langbein and Yost 2009;Trandafir 2015). In fact, when states had constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, both same-sex and different-sex relationships were less stable (Manning et al. 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
We study how the average labor supply of gay men and lesbian women responds to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. We exploit variation in the timing of legalization across states from 2003 to 2015, and we use a difference-in-differences strategy. Gay men do not alter hours in paid work in response to legalization, but lesbian women do. On average, lesbian women reduce their annual labor supply by 6 percent in response to marriage equality. A battery of robustness checks reinforces the result. The effect of marriage equality is heterogeneous: women who have lower earnings than their partners decrease hours of work 2.5 times more than their partners. Time use data show that lesbian partners reallocate work hours primarily to care labor.
... Part 5 discusses whether or not they were negative societal consequences of same-sex marriage in the United States. He describes a paper (Langbein and Yost 2009) that was used extensively in court decisions. He notes this paper has multiple limitations but did conclude that there were no negative externalities of same-sex marriage on society. ...
... Perhaps the first attempt at empirically investigating the potential harm of same-sex marriage on traditional family outcomes has recently been conducted by Langbein and Yost (2009). They try to find out if same-sex marriage has had a negative impact on various family outcomes in states that have adopted some type of recognition of these unions. ...
Article
Same-sex marriage is the most pressing social policy in family law, and pressure exists to provide empirical findings on the effect it will have on traditional marriage. However, it is too early to tell. This paper critiques one of the first U.S. same-sex empirical papers and shows that the negative externality is poorly specified, the data contains coding errors, and the test has no power. Therefore, the conclusion drawn in the paper (that there is no rational grounds for opposing same-sex marriage) is not supported by the evidence in the paper.
... Trandafir (2015) examines relationship recognition in a larger sample of countries for the period 1980 to 2009 and finds that legal same-sex marriage did not affect family formation (as measured by marriage, divorce, and extramarital births) for different-sex couples. Langbein and Yost (2009) study the U.S. context through 2004 and find that same-sex relationship policies have no effects on different-sex marriage, divorce, and abortion rates or on the percentage of children born out of wedlock; Dillender (2014) finds a similar null result using more recent data. ...
Article
We provide the first comprehensive evidence on the effects of access to legal same‐sex marriage (SSM) on marriage and adult health using the full rollout of marriage equality across the United States. Using data from the CDC BRFSS from 2000 to 2017, we relate changes in outcomes for individuals in same‐sex households (SSH) coincident with adoption of legal SSM in two‐way fixed effects models. A substantial share of these households includes gay and lesbian couples. For men in SSH, we find robust evidence that access to legal SSM significantly increased marriage take‐up, health insurance coverage, access to care, and healthcare utilization. Results for women in SSH are inconclusive apart from a clear increase in marriage take‐up. Our results provide the first evidence that legal access to SSM significantly improved health for adult gay men.
Article
This paper analyzes the relationship between same-sex marriage laws and sexually transmitted infections in the United States using state-level data from 1981 to 2008. We hypothesize that same-sex marriage laws may directly affect risky homosexual behavior; may affect or mirror social attitudes toward gays, which in turn may affect homosexual behavior; and may affect or mirror attitudes toward non-marital sex, which may affect risky heterosexual behavior. Our findings may be summarized as follows. Laws banning same-sex marriage are unrelated to gonorrhea rates, which are a proxy for risky heterosexual behavior. They are more closely associated with syphilis rates, which are a proxy for risky homosexual behavior. However, these estimates are smaller and less statistically significant when we exclude California, the state with the largest gay population. Also, laws permitting same-sex marriage are unrelated to gonorrhea or syphilis, but variation in these laws is insufficient to yield precise estimates. In sum, the findings point to a modest positive association--if any at all--between same-sex marriage bans and syphilis.
Article
It has long been debated how legalizing same-sex marriage would affect (different-sex) family formation. In this article, I use data on OECD member countries for the period 1980–2009 to examine the effects of the legal recognition of same-sex couples (through marriage or an alternative institution) on different-sex marriage, divorce, and extramarital births. Estimates from difference-in-difference models indicate that the introduction of same-sex marriage or of alternative institutions has no negative effects on family formation. These findings are robust to a multitude of specification checks, including the construction of counterfactuals using the synthetic control method. In addition, the country-by-country case studies provide evidence of homogeneity of the estimated effects.
Article
The case for same-sex marriage has been politically triumphant, and its victory looks inevitable. It nonetheless is curiously incomplete. It has succeeded, not because the most sophisticated opposing arguments have been considered and rejected, but because those arguments have not even been understood. Those arguments rest on complex claims, either about what sustains the stability of heterosexual marriages or about what those marriages essentially are. The most familiar claim, that recognition of same-sex marriage jeopardizes the heterosexual family, demands an account of the transformation of family norms in the past half century. Major social change should not be undertaken without a full awareness of what is at stake. This essay remedies a major gap in the literature. It critically surveys and evaluates the arguments against same-sex marriage. You may not be persuaded by them. In fact, you shouldn’t be persuaded by them. But you need to know what they are.
Article
This paper analyzes the relationship between same-sex marriage bans and sexually transmitted infections using state-level data from 1981 to 2008. We hypothesize that same-sex marriage bans may directly affect homosexual behavior; may affect or mirror social attitudes toward gays, which in turn may affect homosexual behavior; and may affect or mirror attitudes toward nonmarital sex, which may affect risky heterosexual behavior. Our findings may be summarized as follows. First, same-sex marriage bans are unrelated to gonorrhea rates, which are a proxy for risky heterosexual behavior. However, they are positively associated with syphilis rates, which are a proxy for risky homosexual behavior. Second, of the different legal measures, bans on both same-sex marriage and civil union are most strongly associated with syphilis. Third, the estimates are smaller when we exclude California, the state with the largest gay population, which may indicate it is indeed the behavior of gay men that is driving the findings.
Article
It has long been argued that the legalization of same-sex marriage would have a negative impact on marriage. In this article, I examine how different-sex marriage in the Netherlands was affected by the enactment of two laws: a 1998 law that provided all couples with an institution almost identical to marriage (a "registered partnership") and a 2001 law that legalized same-sex marriage for the first time in the world. I first construct a synthetic control for the Netherlands using OECD data for the period 1988-2005 and find that neither law had significant effects on either the overall or different-sex marriage rate. I next construct a unique individual-level data set covering the period 1995-2005 by combining the Dutch Labor Force Survey and official municipal records. The estimates from a discrete-time hazard model with unobserved heterogeneity for the first-marriage decision confirm the findings in the aggregate analysis. The effects of the two laws are heterogeneous, with presumably more-liberal individuals (as defined by their residence or ethnicity) marrying less after passage of both laws and potentially more-conservative individuals marrying more after passage of each law.
Article
Some conservative groups argue that allowing same-sex couples to marry reduces the value of marriage to opposite-sex couples. This article examines how changes in U.S. legal recognition laws occurring between 1995 and 2010 designed to include same-sex couples have altered marriage rates in the United States. Using a difference-in-differences strategy that compares how marriage rates change after legal recognition in U.S. states that alter legal recognition versus states that do not, I find no evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry reduces the opposite-sex marriage rate. Although the opposite-sex marriage rate is unaffected by same-sex couples marrying, it decreases when domestic partnerships are available to opposite-sex couples.
Article
In the recent Demography article titled "The Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Different-Sex Marriage: Evidence From the Netherlands," Trandafir attempted to answer the question, Are rates of opposite sex marriage affected by legal recognition of same-sex marriages? The results of his approach to statistical inference-looking for evidence of a difference in rates of opposite-sex marriage-provide an absence of evidence of such effects. However, the validity of his conclusion of no causal relationship between same-sex marriage laws and rates of opposite-sex marriage is threatened by the fact that Trandafir did not also look for equivalence in rates of opposite-sex marriage in order to provide evidence of an absence of such an effect. Equivalence tests in combination with difference tests are introduced and presented in this article as a more valid inferential approach to the substantive question Trandafir attempted to answer.
Article
Science often must deal with issues that are politically controversial. However, there are dangers in dealing with controversial research and serious risks to the process of doing science and to the credibility of science, particularly social science. Here, I discuss lessons learned from engaging in and criticizing controversial research for nearly four decades. Social science research as a process is being damaged by questionable research practices, several of which are discussed. Social science results are being misrepresented through a variety of weak or incorrect methodologies, each of which is discussed. Discourse about social science results often shifts from academic discussion into attempts to discredit those with whom one may disagree. Science and the public are not being well served by these problems, so new researchers and policymakers need to be aware of them. For teaching purposes, examples are also presented of controversial research in which new analyses offer different results tha...
Article
The expansion of legal rights to same-sex couples is afoot in a number of Western countries. The effects of this rollout are not only important in their own right but can also provide a window on the institution of marriage and the rights bundled therein. In this article, using Swedish longitudinal register data covering 1994-2007, we study the impact of the extension of rights to same-sex couples on labor earnings and fertility. In 1994, registered partnership for same-sex couples was introduced, which conferred almost all rights and obligations of marriage-a notable exception being joint legal parenting, by default or election. The latter was added in the 2002 adoption act. We find registered partnership to be important to both gays and lesbians but for different reasons. For gays, resource pooling emerges as the main function of registered partnerships. For lesbians, registered partnership appears to be an important vehicle for family formation, especially after the 2002 adoption act. In contrast to heterosexual couples (included for comparison), we find no evidence of household specialization among lesbians. The lack of specialization is noteworthy given similar fertility effects of registered partnership (after 2002) and the fact that lesbian couples were less assortatively matched (on education) than heterosexual couples-children and unequal earnings power being two factors commonly believed to promote specialization.
Article
In 2009, Laura Langbein and Mark Yost published an empirical paper on same-sex marriage, and they concluded: “The argument that same-sex marriage poses a negative externality on society cannot be rationally held.” Here we provide a multifaceted critique. We argue that their empirical strategy is unable to test a realistic externality mechanism. Furthermore, we show that the data they use for their test is inappropriate and that the actual results found are based on questionable coding of their legal variables. Still further, their results are often not robust to alternative estimation methods and universally lack statistical power. The conclusion drawn in their paper, that there can be no rational grounds for opposing same-sex marriage laws, is not supported. © 2015, Atlas Economic Research Foundation. All Right reserved.
Article
We are pleased that Professors Allen and Price (2015) have continued to investigate the empirical connection between state laws that permit (or do not ban) same-sex unions/marriages and the possibility of adverse consequences for families. Using updated information about state laws, and using their preferred coding of that information, Professors Allen and Price have largely replicated our findings (Langbein and Yost 2009). In both investigations, same-sex marriage laws appear to have no adverse effects on families in the state where the laws operate. Both studies suffer from low power. More data and better research designs were not available when we wrote our study; we look forward to these improvements in the future. © 2015, Atlas Economic Research Foundation. All Right reserved.
Article
Though estimates vary, as many as 2 million to 3.7 million U.S. children under age 18 may have a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender parent, and about 200,000 are being raised by same-sex couples. Much of the past decade’s legal and political debate over allowing same-sex couples to marry has centered on these couples’ suitability as parents, and social scientists have been asked to weigh in. After carefully reviewing the evidence presented by scholars on both sides of the issue, Gary Gates concludes that same-sex couples are as good at parenting as their different-sex counterparts. Any differences in the wellbeing of children raised in same-sex and different-sex families can be explained not by their parents’ gender composition but by the fact that children being by raised by same-sex couples have, on average, experienced more family instability, because most children being raised by same-sex couples were born to different-sex parents, one of whom is now in the same-sex relationship. That pattern is changing, however. Despite growing support for same-sex parenting, proportionally fewer same-sex couples report raising children today than in 2000. Why? Reduced social stigma means that more LGBT people are coming out earlier in life. They’re less likely than their LGBT counterparts from the past to have different-sex relationships and the children such relationships produce. At the same time, more same-sex couples are adopting children or using reproductive technologies like artificial insemination and surrogacy. Compared to a decade ago, same-sex couples today may be less likely to have children, but those who do are more likely to have children who were born with same-sex parents who are in stable relationships. In the past, most same-sex couples raising children were in a cohabiting relationship. With same-sex couples’ right to marry now secured throughout the country, the situation is changing rapidly. As more and more same-sex couples marry, Gates writes, we have the opportunity to consider new research questions that can contribute to our understanding of how marriage and parental relationships affect child wellbeing. © 2015 by The Trustees of Princeton University, All rights reserved.
Article
In June of 2013, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy authored the majority opinion in United States v. Windsor,1 striking down the Defense of Marriage Act as an unconstitutional "deprivation of the equal liberty of persons."2 Instead of applying the Supreme Court's traditional tiers-of-scrutiny framework,3 Justice Kennedy's due process and equal protection analysis weighed multiple factors: The significance of the liberty interest at stake,4 the extent to which similarly situated individuals were being treated differently under the law,5 the presence of animus or moral disapproval of a politically unpopular class in the law's purpose and effect,6 and the legitimacy and strength of the government's policy justifications.7 Justice Kennedy's approach in Windsor incorporates important due process and equal protection considerations that the tiers-of-scrutiny framework would have failed to capture.8 His more holistic analysis, however, lacks the clarity and precision necessary to guide future cases effectively, particularly with regard to the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage.9
Chapter
Despite a growing body of scholarship examining LGBTQ parenting and families, surprisingly little research has focused on the specific experiences of bisexual-identified parents. Rather, bisexual parents have been excluded from parenting research, or made invisible through collapsing them with lesbian- or gay-identified parents. In this chapter, we attempt to address this gap in LGBTQ parenting research by (a) describing a recent literature search of multiple health and social sciences databases to establish the current state of the research on bisexual parenting; (b) reviewing related research and scholarship that have touched on the experiences of bisexual parents, including two studies conducted by our own team; (c) speculating about some of the key issues and concerns faced by bisexual parents, based on the available data; and (d) identifying key future directions for research in this field.
Article
This Article offers the first analysis to date of national data evaluating whether defense of marriage acts (mini or super-DOMAs) preserve and stabilize the family. After finding that they do not just as same-sex marriage does not appear to destabilize families the Article analyzes what variables are, in fact, associated with family stability. Specifically, those variables are: families below the poverty line; men and women married three or more times; religiosity; percent conservative versus liberal in a state; disposable income; percent with a bachelor's degree; and median age of first marriage. States that are more likely to have enacted a DOMA are also more likely to have high divorce or never-married rates. And in turn, these same states are more likely to include poor families, in which people marry young, are highly religious, and are politically conservative. Next, the Article applies the sociological concepts of moral entrepreneurism and moral panic, defined, respectively, as the practice of political groups labeling certain behavior as deviant, and the reframing of a social phenomenon in moral terms to create an exaggerated sense of fear. These concepts serve as the theoretical explanation for mini-DOMAs' continued entrenchment, even in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court's Windsor decision that struck down Section 3 of the federal DOMA. Finally, the Article offers pragmatic recommendations for achieving family stability in light of mini-DOMAs' inability to succeed in this goal.
Article
We examine the effect of same-sex marriage (SSM) legalization on hotel room occupancy in the cities of Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia, two popular wedding destinations that are otherwise similar except for different SSM legalization dates. Using daily data on the number of hotel rooms rented, we find scant evidence that SSM legalization increased the number of hotel rooms let in Charleston or Savannah.
Chapter
Although there is ample literature regarding the couple relationships of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, particularly same-sex LG couples, less is known about processes of separation and divorce in instances where these relationships are not enduring. This topic is timely to consider as a growing number of countries worldwide have moved toward marriage equality for same-sex couples, which also means that legal same-sex divorce is becoming an increasing reality. As many couples including LGBTQ-identified persons have children, it is likely that at least some of these children will experience the dissolution of their parents’ relationship, yet few studies have attended to outcomes and experiences of LGBTQ-parent families who experience divorce. In this chapter, we review data on LGBTQ relationship separation and divorce, particularly those LGBTQ adults who are parents. We underscore dynamics unique to LGBTQ parents and their children who experience dissolution of the couple relationship. In doing so, we describe both quantitative and qualitative studies in this area, and we draw on related research among cisgender heterosexual parent families who have experienced separation and divorce. We conclude with implications and recommendations for policy, practice, and future research.
Article
The modern economic role of women emerged in four phases. The first three were evolutionary; the last was revolutionary. Phase I occurred from the late nineteenth century to the 1920s; Phase II was from 1930 to 1950; Phase III extended from 1950 to the late 1970s; and Phase IV, the "quiet revolution," began in the late 1970s and is still ongoing. Three aspects of women's choices distinguish the evolutionary from the revolutionary phases: horizon, identity, and decision-making. The evolutionary phases are apparent in time-series data on labor force participation. The revolutionary phase is discernible using time-series evidence on women's more predictable attachment to the workplace, greater identity with career, and better ability to make joint decisions with their spouses. Each of these series has a sharp break or inflection point signifying social and economic change. These changes, moreover, coincide by birth cohort or period. The relationship between the development of modern labor economics and the reality of women's changing economic role is explored. The paper concludes by assessing whether the revolution has stalled or is being reversed. Women who graduated college in the early 1980s did not "opt-out,"but recent cohorts are too young to evaluate.
Article
Full-text available
A number of concepts from economic theory have been used to defend legal paternalism and legal moralism. In this paper I discuss the concept of moral externalities, i.e., of negative externalities of a behavior that is considered immoral by conventional morality. According to some economists the existence of significant negative externalities can justify legal moralism. I attempt to rebut this argument using a Coasean framework (supported by a body of unfortunately little known work on the demarcation of externalities) and by extracting from Richard Posner's wealth maximization criterion a theory of self-ownership which places heavier emphasis on consent than utility as a proxy for social welfare. I apply the results discussing the issue of same-sex marriage. I do not attempt to justify it on legal or moral grounds; I aim rather to repudiate the arguments which reject same-sex marriage based on the concept of moral externalities.
Chapter
When a transaction is concluded in the marketplace, two bundles of property rights are exchanged. A bundle of rights often attaches to a physical commodity or service, but it is the value of the rights that determines the value of what is exchanged. Questions addressed to the emergence and mix of the components of the bundle of rights are prior to those commonly asked by economists. Economists usually take the bundle of property rights as a datum and ask for an explanation of the forces determining the price and the number of units of a good to which these rights attach.
Book
This book covers some essential topics of econometrics. It covers from single regression to multiple regression. The second part of the book talks about how to detect a violation of assumptions (multicollinearity, heteroscedasticity, autocorrelation, model specification) made for running multiple regression and what the remedies are. The third part deals with three topics, including (a) regression on dummy variables, (b) regression on dummy dependent variables, (c) autoregressive and distributed lag models. The last part deals with simultaneous-equation model.
Article
Recently, gay and lesbian couples have gone to court to force the government to allow same-sex couples to marry. Largely unnoticed during the debates surrounding same-sex marriages are their economic consequences, including the impact on government tax collections. It is well-known that a couple's joint income tax burden can change with marriage. Many couples, especially two-earner couples with similar incomes, pay a marriage tax because their taxes when married are more than their combined tax liabilities as single filers. This feature of the income tax suggests that legalizing same-sex marriages would increase income tax revenues, because gay and lesbian households are thought to consist primarily of two-earner couples. In this paper we estimate the income tax effects of allowing same-sex couples to marry. We use estimates on the size of homosexual relationships, the percent who would marry if same-sex marriage becomes legal, and the average incomes of these couples, in order to generate estimates of the revenue impact. Our calculations indicate that legalizing these marriages would lead to an annual increase in federal government income taxes of between $0.3 billion and $1.3 billion, with the likely impact toward the higher range of the estimates.
Chapter
The Problem to be ExaminedThe Reciprocal Nature of the ProblemThe Pricing System with Liability for DamageThe Pricing System with No Liability for DamageThe Problem Illustrated AnewThe Cost of Market Transactions Taken into AccountThe Legal Delimitation of Rights and the Economic Problem
Article
Previous investigations have demonstrated a relationship between endorsement of right-wing authoritarian (RWA) ideology and attitudes toward social and societal issues (e.g., abortion, drug use, affirmative action, and homosexuality). By contrast, the present studies examined the relationship between RWA and beliefs about matters of fact bearing on such issues (e.g., estimates of the prevalence of third trimester abortions, AIDS, concealed weapons). Studies 1 and 2 supported the propositions that high-RWA and low-RWA participants would show differences in their informational beliefs about sociopolitical matters consistent with differences in their respective ideologies and consistent with their putative differential cynicism about human nature. Study 3 demonstrated that the relationship between RWA and informational beliefs is amplified by the heightened salience of attitudes toward the targets of those beliefs.
Article
This paper analyzes data regarding the impact on heterosexual marriages of laws in five European countries that provide marriage or marriage-like rights to same-sex couples. The data provide no evidence that giving partnership rights to same-sex couples had any impact on heterosexual marriage. Specifically, heterosexual marriage rates and divorce rates in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and the Netherlands displayed no significant change in trends after implementation of rights for gay couples; longstanding trends in nonmarital birth rates showed no sign of acceleration attributable to passage of partnership laws; and nonmarital birth rates showed the same changes in countries with and without partnership laws. Finally, because the United States gives many more incentives for heterosexual couples to marry than European countries, any effects of passage of gay marriage or partnership laws in this country would be even less likely to have an impact on the status of heterosexual marriage.
Article
This entry for the forthcoming The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (Second Edition) surveys the economic analysis of five primary fields of law: property law; liability for accidents; contract law; litigation; and public enforcement and criminal law. It also briefly considers some criticisms of the economic analysis of law.
Article
The modern economic role of women emerged in four phases. The first three were evolutionary; the last was revolutionary. Phase I occurred from the late nineteenth century to the 1920s; Phase II was from 1930 to 1950; Phase III extended from 1950 to the late 1970s; and Phase IV, the "quiet revolution," began in the late 1970s and is still ongoing. Three aspects of women's choices distinguish the evolutionary from the revolutionary phases: horizon, identity, and decision-making. The evolutionary phases are apparent in time-series data on labor force participation. The revolutionary phase is discernible using time-series evidence on women's more predictable attachment to the workplace, greater identity with career, and better ability to make joint decisions with their spouses. Each of these series has a sharp break or inflection point signifying social and economic change. These changes, moreover, coincide by birth cohort or period. The relationship between the development of modern labor economics and the reality of women's changing economic role is explored. The paper concludes by assessing whether the revolution has stalled or is being reversed. Women who graduated college in the early 1980s did not "opt-out,"but recent cohorts are too young to evaluate.
Consequences of Incarceration on Family Formation and Unemployment in Urban Areas
  • James P Lynch
  • William Sabol
Lynch, James P., and William Sabol. 2003. ''Consequences of Incarceration on Family Formation and Unemployment in Urban Areas.'' In Darnell Hawkins, Samuel L. Myers, and Randolph N. Stone, eds., Crime Control and Social Justice: The Delicate Balance. Westport CT: Greenwood Press.
Economic Analysis of LawState Data Tables
  • Posner
  • Richard
Posner, Richard A. 2003. Economic Analysis of Law, 6th ed. New York: Aspen. U.S. Bureau of the Census. 2006. ''State Data Tables.'' In U.S. Census State and Metropolitan Area Data Book: 2006. Available at hhttp://www.census.gov/compendia/smadb/SMADB state.htmli.
Why Lagged Dependent Variables Can Suppress the Ex-planatory Power of Other Independent Variables Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Political MethodologyWedding Bell Blues: The Income Tax Consequences of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
  • Christopher H Achen
  • Alm
  • M V James
  • Lee
  • Leslie A Badgett
  • Whittington
Achen, Christopher H. 2000 ''Why Lagged Dependent Variables Can Suppress the Ex-planatory Power of Other Independent Variables.'' Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology. Los Angeles, CA. Alm, James, M. V. Lee Badgett, and Leslie A. Whittington. 2000. ''Wedding Bell Blues: The Income Tax Consequences of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage.'' National Tax Journal LIII(2):201–14.
Federalist No. 10 The Federalist Papers
  • Madison
  • James
Madison, James. 1961. ''Federalist No. 10.'' In Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library.
The End of Marriage in Scandinavia: The 'Conservative Case' for Same Sex Marriage Collapses
  • Stanley Kurtz
Kurtz, Stanley. 2004. ''The End of Marriage in Scandinavia: The 'Conservative Case' for Same Sex Marriage Collapses.'' Weekly Standard February 2:27.
Why Lagged Dependent Variables Can Suppress the Explanatory Power of Other Independent Variables
  • Christopher H Achen
Achen, Christopher H. 2000 ''Why Lagged Dependent Variables Can Suppress the Explanatory Power of Other Independent Variables.'' Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology. Los Angeles, CA.
201) calculate that ''legalizing these marriages would lead to an annual increase in federal government income taxes of between $.03 billion and $1.3 billion, with the likely impact toward the higher range of estimates
  • Badgett Alm
There may also be tax consequences, but it is not clear that this is a market (or nonmarket) failure. For example, Alm, Badgett, and Whittington (2000:201) calculate that ''legalizing these marriages would lead to an annual increase in federal government income taxes of between $.03 billion and $1.3 billion, with the likely impact toward the higher range of estimates.''
The End of Marriage in Scandinavia
  • Kurtz