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Effects of Access to Legal Same-Sex Marriage on Marriage and Health: Evidence from BRFSS

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher Carpenter
  • Samuel T. Eppink
  • Gilbert Gonzales Jr.
  • Tara McKay

Abstract

We 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 health insurance, access to care, and utilization for men in SSH. Our results provide the first evidence that legal access to SSM improved health for adult gay men.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Carpenter & Samuel T. Eppink & Gilbert Gonzales Jr. & Tara McKay, 2018. "Effects of Access to Legal Same-Sex Marriage on Marriage and Health: Evidence from BRFSS," NBER Working Papers 24651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24651
    Note: HC HE LE
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael E. Martell & Peyton Nash, 2020. "For Love and Money? Earnings and Marriage Among Same-Sex Couples," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 260-294, September.
    2. Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Michael E. Martell & Leanne Roncolato, 2020. "A labor of love: The impact of same-sex marriage on labor supply," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 265-283, June.
    3. Sansone, Dario, 2019. "Pink work: Same-sex marriage, employment and discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).
    4. Saxby, Karinna & de New, Sonja C. & Petrie, Dennis, 2020. "Structural stigma and sexual orientation disparities in healthcare use: Evidence from Australian Census-linked-administrative data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 255(C).
    5. Christopher Carpenter & Dario Sansone, 2020. "Cigarette Taxes and Smoking Among Sexual Minority Adults," NBER Working Papers 26692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mann, Samuel & Blackaby, David & O’Leary, Nigel, 2019. "Sexual identity and wellbeing: A distributional analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 133-136.
    7. Elliott Isaac, 2018. "Suddenly Married: Joint Taxation And The Labor Supply Of Same-Sex Married Couples After U.S. v. Windsor," Working Papers 1809, Tulane University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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