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The Direct Effects of Legal Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Evidence From Massachusetts

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  • Christopher S. Carpenter

    (Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

I provide evidence on the direct effects of legal same-sex marriage in the United States by studying Massachusetts, the first state to legalize it in 2004 by court order. Using confidential Massachusetts data from 2001–2013, I show that the ruling significantly increased marriage among lesbians, bisexual women, and gay men compared with the associated change for heterosexuals. I find no significant effects on coupling. Marriage take-up effects are larger for lesbians than for bisexual women or gay men and are larger for households with children than for households without children. Consistent with prior work in the United States and Europe, I find no reductions in heterosexual marriage.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:57:y:2020:i:5:d:10.1007_s13524-020-00908-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-020-00908-1
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