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Research Details

UM17-07 - Exploring the Social Security Benefit Implication of Same-Sex Marriage

Michael Pollard and Italo Lopez Garcia

Federal legalization of same-sex marriage has expanded the pool of individuals potentially eligible for spousal benefits from Social Security. Currently no estimates of the potential impact exist. This proposed research will provide early estimates of the potential impact of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the expansion of spousal benefits and labor-market outcomes among same-sex couples. We propose to collect new data specifically designed to assess, for the first time, the relative incomes of partners in same-sex couples, to evaluate whether access to Social Security benefits is an incentive for same-sex couples to marry, and to assess the current and future prevalence of same-sex marriages from novel and existing data sources using demographic methods.