The effect of same-sex marriage legalisation on partnership stability

VOX CEPR Policy Portal
Erasmus School of Economics

Jan van Ours, professor of Applied Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, wrote a column together with Shuai Chen, Research Associate in Economics at the Luxembourg Institute of Social Economic Research about the effect of same-sex marriage legislation on partnership stability.

In 1998 registered partnerships for both same-sex and different-sex couples were introduced in the Netherlands. Since 2001 also same-sex marriage was legislated. Although there is little economic or legal difference between both, van Ours and Chen suggest that the symbolism of marriage encourages long-term relationship stability in ways that registered partnerships do not.

In their column they answer the question: does marriage really improve the stability of same-sex partnerships? Same-sex marriage legalization is a recent phenomenon that provides an opportunity to study how the symbolism of marriage affects the stability of formal partnerships. Suggesting that the symbolism of marriage has powerful stabilizing effects on interpersonal relationships.

Jan van Ours
More information

Read the entire column on VOX CEPR Policy Portal, 13 September 2019.