Pink Papers: The Economics of Same-Sex Marriage
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
- Chair: Daniel Hamermesh, University of Texas-Austin
Effects of Legal Access to Same-Sex Marriage on Marriage and Health: Evidence from BRFSS
AbstractWe exploit variation in access to legal same-sex marriage (SSM) across states and time to provide novel evidence of its effects on marriage and health using data from the CDC BRFSS from 2000-2016, a period spanning the entire rollout of legal SSM across the United States. Our main approach is to relate changes in outcomes for individuals in same-sex households (SSH) [i.e., households with exactly two same-sex adults], which we show includes a substantial share of gay and lesbian couples, coincident with adoption of legal SSM in two-way fixed effects models. We find robust evidence that access to legal SSM significantly increased marriage take-up among men and women in SSH. We also find that legal SSM was associated with significant increases in insurance, access to care, and some preventive care outcomes for men in SSH. Our results provide the first direct evidence that legal access to SSM improved health for adult gay men.
Suddenly Married: Joint Taxation and the Labor Supply of Same-Sex Couples After United States v. Windsor
AbstractA joint taxation system can exacerbate the deadweight loss of taxation due to labor supply responses, but evidence is scarce. I provide direct evidence of the efficiency costs and labor supply effects of joint taxation in the United States by leveraging tax variation created by federal same-sex marriage recognition following the 2013 United States v. Windsor Supreme Court ruling. I find hours responses to taxation among predicted primary earners and labor force participation responses among predicted secondary earners. I also show that joint taxation decreases efficiency and tax revenue compared to individual taxation, with larger effect sizes for equal-earning couples. My findings suggest that there are efficiency gains to lowering tax rates for secondary earners, but whether efficiency is worth the lower associated tax equity across households remains an open question.
A Labor of Love: The Impact of Same-sex Marriage on Labor Supply
AbstractWe study how gay men and lesbian women respond to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. Because legalizing same-sex marriage increases the return to joint investment and reduces the risk associated with specializing in home production, we focus on the labor supply response. We exploit variation in the timing of legalization across states, and we use a difference-in-differences strategy. Data come from the Current Population Survey. On average, gay men do not alter hours in paid work in response to legalization, but lesbian women do. Women who are partners in a lesbian couple reduce their annual labor supply by 6-8% in response to the legalization of same-sex marriage. The effect is largest for women with children. Though both partners in a lesbian couple work less after legalization, the woman who earns less decreases hours of work three times more than her partner does. Supplementary results using the American Time Use Survey show that lesbian partners reallocate work hours primarily to household and care labor.
- J1 - Demographic Economics
- J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor