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The Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Different-Sex Marriage: Evidence From the Netherlands

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  • Mircea Trandafir

Abstract

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. Copyright Population Association of America 2014

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  • Mircea Trandafir, 2014. "The Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Different-Sex Marriage: Evidence From the Netherlands," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(1), pages 317-340, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:51:y:2014:i:1:p:317-340
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-013-0248-7
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    1. Edoardo Ciscato & Alfred Galichon & Marion Goussé, 2020. "Like Attract Like? A Structural Comparison of Homogamy across Same-Sex and Different-Sex Households," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(2), pages 740-781.
    2. Wendy D. Manning & Susan L. Brown & J. Bart Stykes, 2016. "Same-Sex and Different-Sex Cohabiting Couple Relationship Stability," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(4), pages 937-953, August.
    3. Chen, Shuai & van Ours, Jan C., 2020. "Symbolism matters: The effect of same-sex marriage legalization on partnership stability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 44-58.
    4. Leturcq, Marion, 2012. "Will you civil union me? Taxation and civil unions in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 541-552.
    5. Alexis Dinno, 2014. "Comment on “The Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Different-Sex Marriage: Evidence From the Netherlands”," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(6), pages 2343-2347, December.
    6. Robert Bifulco & Ross Rubenstein & Hosung Sohn, 2017. "Using Synthetic Controls to Evaluate the Effect of Unique Interventions: The Case of Say Yes to Education," Evaluation Review, , vol. 41(6), pages 593-619, December.
    7. Christopher S. Carpenter, 2020. "The Direct Effects of Legal Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Evidence From Massachusetts," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(5), pages 1787-1808, October.
    8. Christopher S. Carpenter & Samuel T. Eppink & Gilbert Gonzales & Tara McKay, 2021. "Effects of Access to Legal Same‐Sex Marriage on Marriage and Health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(2), pages 376-411, March.
    9. Marcus Dillender, 2014. "The Death of Marriage? The Effects of New Forms of Legal Recognition on Marriage Rates in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(2), pages 563-585, April.
    10. Erin O Sills & Diego Herrera & A Justin Kirkpatrick & Amintas Brandão Jr. & Rebecca Dickson & Simon Hall & Subhrendu Pattanayak & David Shoch & Mariana Vedoveto & Luisa Young & Alexander Pfaff, 2015. "Estimating the Impacts of Local Policy Innovation: The Synthetic Control Method Applied to Tropical Deforestation," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(7), pages 1-15, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Same-sex marriage; Synthetic control; Discrete-time hazard model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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