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; King’s College London; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Christopher S. Carpenter

Vanderbilt University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ralph De Haas

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); KU Leuven

Kevin Ducbao Tran

University of Bristol, School of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 6 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 S. and De Haas, Ralph and Tran, Kevin Ducbao, 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 )

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King’s College London ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Christopher S. Carpenter

Vanderbilt University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Ralph De Haas

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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KU Leuven ( email )

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Belgium

Kevin Ducbao Tran

University of Bristol, School of Economics ( email )

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Bristol BS8 ITN
United Kingdom

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