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Institutions, attitudes and LGBT: Evidence from the gold rush

Abel Brodeur and Joanne Haddad

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 187, issue C, 92-110

Abstract: This paper relates the size of the present-day LGBT population to the discovery of gold during the nineteenth century gold rushes. Comparing the surroundings of gold rush counties to other mining counties, we find that there are currently 15% more same-sex couples in former gold rush counties and that residents of these counties have more favorable attitudes toward homosexuality. Gold rush counties were initially isolated, mostly uninhabited and lacked strong formal institutions, which helped shaping pro-LGBT attitudes. Examining channels of persistence, we provide empirical evidence for selective migration and the lack of strong religious institutions.

Keywords: Persistence; LGBT; Institutions; Religion; Attitudes; Isolation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J10 O13 O18 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Related works:
Working Paper: Institutions, Attitudes and LGBT: Evidence from the Gold Rush (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Institutions, Attitudes and LGBT: Evidence from the Gold Rush (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:187:y:2021:i:c:p:92-110

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.04.021

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