Friday, March 4, 2011
Andrew M. Francis, Hugo M. Mialon & Handie Peng (Emory Univ. Dept. of Economics) have posted "The Effects of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Public Health and Welfare" on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This paper analyzes the relationships among same-sex marriage bans, social attitudes toward gays and non-marital sex, and measures of public health and welfare. We hypothesize that same-sex marriage bans may foster intolerance for gays and increase the social costs of same-sex partnerships, which may raise incentives for risky homosexual behavior. We also hypothesize that same-sex marriage bans may codify and signal traditional family values, which may raise the benefits of heterosexual marriage and reduce incentives for non-marital sex. Using micro- and state-level data, we find evidence that same-sex marriage bans reduced tolerance for gays and increased the syphilis rate, a rough proxy for risky homosexual behavior. However, we find no consistent evidence that same-sex marriage bans impacted risky heterosexual behavior, marriage, or divorce.