Do Laws Shape Attitudes? Evidence from Same-Sex Relationship Recognition Policies in Europe

20 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2018

See all articles by Cevat Giray Aksoy

Cevat Giray Aksoy

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; London School of Economics

Christopher Carpenter

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ralph De Haas

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Tilburg University - Department of Finance

Kevin Tran

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - Firms and Markets

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 10, 2018

Abstract

Do laws shape or simply reflect society’s attitudes? This paper provides new evidence on this question by studying the relationship between legal same-sex relationship recognition policies and attitudes towards sexual minorities in Europe. We show that when relationships are recognised by law, there is a statistically significant increase in favourable attitudes towards sexual minorities. These effects are widespread across demographic groups, emerge only after the policies are adopted, and are not observed for views on other social issues. Our results suggest that laws can exert a powerful influence on societal attitudes.

Keywords: Public opinion; same-sex relationship recognition policies; LGBT attitudes

JEL Classification: F5; K36

Suggested Citation

Aksoy, Cevat Giray and Carpenter, Christopher and De Haas, Ralph and Tran, Kevin, Do Laws Shape Attitudes? Evidence from Same-Sex Relationship Recognition Policies in Europe (August 10, 2018). EBRD Working Paper No. 219. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3229801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3229801

Cevat Giray Aksoy (Contact Author)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( email )

One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
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Germany

London School of Economics ( email )

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Christopher Carpenter

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ralph De Haas

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( email )

One Exchange Square
London, EC2A 2JN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: www.ebrd.com

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Tilburg University - Department of Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Kevin Tran

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - Firms and Markets ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

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