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Coming out in America : AIDS, politics, and cultural change

Author: Raquel Fernandez; Sahar Parsa; Martina Viarengo; National Bureau of Economic Research,
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2019.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 25697.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The last few decades witnessed a dramatic change in public opinion towards gay people. This paper studies the hypothesis that the AIDS epidemic was a shock that changed the incentive to "come out" and that the ensuing process of mobilization and endogenous political process led to cultural transformation. We show that the process of change was discontinuous over time and present suggestive evidence that the 1992  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Raquel Fernandez; Sahar Parsa; Martina Viarengo; National Bureau of Economic Research,
OCLC Number: 1096326817
Notes: "March 2019"
Description: 1 online resource (60 pages) : illustrations, map.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 25697.
Responsibility: Raquel Fernández, Sahar Parsa, Martina Viarengo.

Abstract:

The last few decades witnessed a dramatic change in public opinion towards gay people. This paper studies the hypothesis that the AIDS epidemic was a shock that changed the incentive to "come out" and that the ensuing process of mobilization and endogenous political process led to cultural transformation. We show that the process of change was discontinuous over time and present suggestive evidence that the 1992 presidential election followed by the "don't ask, don't tell" debate led to a change in attitudes. Using a difference-in-difference empirical strategy, we find that, in accordance with our hypothesis, the change in opinion was greater in states with higher AIDS rates. Our analysis suggests that if individuals in low-AIDS states had experienced the same average AIDS rate as a high-AIDS state, the change in their approval rate from the '70s to the '90s would have been 50 percent greater.

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