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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION THERESA BASSETT and CAROL KENNEDY, PETER WAYS and JOE BREAKEY, JOLINDA JACH and BARBARA RAMBER, DOAK BLOSS and GERARDO ASCHERI, DENISE MILLER, and MICHELLE JOHNSON, Plaintiffs, vs. RICHARD SNYDER, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Michigan, Defendant. ______________________________/ REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH PRICE
Case No. 2:12-cv-10038-DML-MJH Hon. David M. Lawson Mag. Michael J. Hluchaniuk
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INTRODUCTION Defendant’s expert, Joseph Price, is an “empirical economist” whose core opinion in this case is that the Public Act 297 of 2011, the Public Employee Domestic Partner Benefit Restriction Act (the “Act”) is economically rational because it incentivizes couples to marry and not cohabit, and that marriage generates greater economic benefits for the state than cohabiting. (See Ex. A, Price Rpt. ¶ 9, 42; Price Dep. Tr. at 139:7-12, 134:16-135:1; see also id. at 137:15138:2.) That opinion demands a variety of empirical comparisons between
cohabitation and marriage. (Price Dep. Tr. at 134:16-135:1.) Yet Dr. Price has no empirical basis to opine that marriage generates better outcomes than cohabitation on any of the metrics he discusses—income (id. at 248:23-249:7; 249:15-19; 231:2-15), health (id. at 160:24-161:4), or criminality (id. at 124:18-22). Dr. Price also admits that he has no empirical basis to say that marginal marriages— marriages that might occur because of state incentives like the Act—exhibit the positive outcomes he attributes to marriages generally. (Id. at 203:7-11, 203:1216, 205:19-23.) In other words, Dr. Price’s opinion, that the Act is rational as a means to capture the supposed economic benefits of marriage over cohabitation, lacks any empirical support and is based on his ipse dixit rather than the “rigorous empirical
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methods” he purports to apply outside of litigation. (Ex. A at ¶ 4.) Plaintiffs therefore moved to exclude his testimony under Federal Rule of Evidence 702. ARGUMENT I. Dr. Price’s analysis of a “broad spectrum of relationships” is irrelevant to the facts of this case, which require a specific finding that it was rational for Michigan to take benefits from cohabiting couples. Defendant asserts that Plaintiffs’ motion rests on “a fatal assumption that ‘the relevant comparison for purposes of evaluating the economic impact of the Act . . . is marriage versus cohabitation.’” (Def.’s Resp. (Dkt. No. 91) at 6
(quoting Dkt. No. 86 at 3).) The assumption is supposedly “fatal,” because Dr. Price’s testimony is “much broader” and compares marriage to “non-married persons, including both single and cohabitation.” (Id. at 6.) But it was Dr. Price who testified that at the heart of his opinion is a comparison of marriage to cohabitation: Q: At heart, what you’re opining on in your report is the economic impact of the State passing this law, the Benefit Restriction law, which makes unequal the economic incentive to marry versus cohabit, right? A: That’s right. .... Q: Because what you’re saying in your report is that by denying cohabiting couples these health benefits you are disincentivizing people to cohabit versus marriage? A: Yes. 2
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(Price Dep. Tr. at 139:7-12, 134:21-135:1; see also id. at 137:15-138:2.) Comparing single people to married people is beside the point. An opinion “analyz[ing] a broader spectrum of relationships” (see Def.’s Resp. at 7) does not fit the facts of this case. Such an opinion would be of no assistance to a jury tasked with answering whether the particular change Michigan made to its package of benefits, taking benefits from cohabiting public employees, is rational. See United States v. LeBlanc, 45 F. App’x 393, 400 (6th Cir. 2002) (requiring “that the proffered expert testimony” be “sufficiently tied to the facts of the case that it will aid the jury” (internal quotation marks and citation omitted)). II. Dr. Price does not employ sufficient facts and data to support his conclusion that the Act is rational. Rule 702 requires that the data on which Dr. Price relies be “sufficient” to reliably support his opinion about the Act’s rationality. Dr. Price’s data plainly are insufficient because he has none: by his own admission, he has no empirical basis—no data—demonstrating that cohabitation, the crucial relationship the Act allegedly disincentivizes, generates different outcomes than marriage on his chosen metrics: income, health, and criminality. (See Price Dep. Tr. at 248:23-249:5 (lack of income data); id. at 160:24-161:4 (lack of health data); id. at 124:18-22 (lack of criminality data).) Dr. Price also cites no data showing that marginal marriages—i.e., couples who Price believes would marry rather than cohabitate because of the different 3
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incentives created by the Act— will generate the positive outcomes he associates with marriage generally. Marginal marriages are absolutely central to Dr. Price’s opinion because, if they do not generate benefits over cohabitation, the Act will produce no economic benefits. (See id. at 164:7-12, 170:15-171:1; see also Ex. A at ¶ 9.) Dr. Price cannot identify any study or other empirical support for the proposition that marginal marriages exhibit the same qualities as average marriages: Q: [I]n your report, do you cite any study showing that a policy that creates an incentive to marry caused positive outcomes among the marginal marriages? A: I don’t. Q: Can you identify a study anywhere in the literature that shows marginal marriages induced by policies that incentivized marriage caused better outcomes than cohabitation? A. No. (Price Dep. Tr. at 203:7-11, 203:12-16.) There is thus an unacceptable gap between Dr. Price’s opinion that the Act is rational and the facts and data underlying that opinion. Such a gap fails Rule 702’s “sufficient facts or data” requirement and calls for the exclusion of Dr. Price’s testimony. See Tamraz v. Lincoln Elec. Co., 620 F.3d 665, 675-76 (6th Cir. 2010) (excluding testimony where crucial links in the expert’s chain of inferences were unsupported by facts).
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Dr. Price has no empirical basis to say the Act is economically rational. Dr. Price testified that, for the Act to be economically rational, its benefits to
the State would have to outweigh its costs. (See Price Dep. Tr. at 42:10-16 (“Q. And you said you believe that the Benefit Restriction Act is an economically rational law, right? A. That’s correct. Q. So within the context of your opinion as an economist the law’s benefits would have to outweigh its costs in order for you to say it’s rational, correct? A. Yes.” (emphasis added)).) Dr. Price further testified that it would not be possible to reliably opine that the Act creates net economic benefits without taking into account both costs and benefits. (See id. at 34:3-6, 37:17-21.) Yet Price did not take into account any of the Act’s expected costs and never weighed the Act’s overall costs against its benefits: Q. Just to be clear, you haven’t attempted to quantify sort of the gross economic benefits you would expect from the Benefit Restriction Act, right? A. That’s correct. Q. And you haven’t attempted to quantify sort of the gross economic costs to the Benefit Restriction Act? A. That’s correct. Q. So you don’t have an opinion specifically about whether the Benefit Restriction Act creates a net economic benefit or net economic loss, right? A. I wouldn’t be able to pin down a specific. (Id. at 218:22-219:8; see also id. at 105:18-22 (ignored tax revenue from couples who might leave the state because of the Act); id. at 107:1-6 (same); id. at 107:125
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22 (ignored lost revenue from tax on benefits; id. at 106:16-24 (ignored the cost to the state of increasing the number of uninsured).) Defendant defends Price’s approach by arguing that Price cannot be responsible for the “inability of the data to specifically quantify [costs and benefits]” and that “while there may be a lack of certain quantifiable . . . statistics, the methodology . . . is not lacking.” (Def.’s Resp. at 11, 12.) Defendant cannot save Dr. Price’s flawed methodology by blaming the lack of data. If an empirical economist such as Dr. Price lacks sufficient data to render an empirically supported opinion about the net economic benefits of a law, he cannot reliably offer any opinion. By his own admission, Dr. Price did not perform the methodology
required to assess whether the Act’s benefits outweigh its costs. That failure renders his opinions unreliable and warrants the exclusion of his testimony. Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. v. Raymond Corp., 676 F.3d 521, 527 (6th Cir. 2012) (experts “must employ in the courtroom the same level of intellectual rigor that characterizes the practice of an expert in the relevant field” (internal quotations marks and citation omitted)). CONCLUSION Defendant’s response highlights the deficiencies in Dr. Price’s opinion, demonstrating that the data he employed do not and cannot support his opinion that
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the Act is economically rational. For the reasons stated herein and in Plaintiffs’ motion, Dr. Price’s testimony should be excluded.
Dated: March 10, 2014
John A. Knight American Civil Liberties Union Foundation 180 N. Michigan, 2300 Chicago, Illinois 60601 (312) 201-9740 Amanda C. Goad American Civil Liberties Union Foundation 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, New York 10004 (212) 549- 2627 Attorneys for Plaintiffs Theresa Bassett, Carol Kennedy, Peter Ways, Joe Breakey, JoLinda Jach, Barbara Ramber, Doak Bloss, Gerardo Ascheri, Denise Miller, and Michelle Johnson
/s/ Amy E. Crawford Donna M. Welch, P.C. (admission pending) Bradley H. Weidenhammer (admission pending) Amy E. Crawford Debra K. Lefler (admission pending) Kirkland & Ellis, LLP 300 North LaSalle Street Chicago, Illinois 60654 (312) 862-2000 Michael J. Steinberg (P43085) Jay D. Kaplan (P38197) Kary L. Moss (P49759) American Civil Liberties Union Fund of Michigan 2966 Woodward Avenue Detroit, Michigan 28201 (313) 578-6814
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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on the 10th day of March, 2014 I caused Reply Brief in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion to Exclude Testimony of Joseph Price to be served by electronic mail and U.S. Mail to the following counsel: Margaret A. Nelson (P30342) Michigan Department of Attorney General Public Employment, Elections & Tort Division P.O. Box 30736 Lansing, MI 48909 (517) 373-6434 Attorneys for Defendant
Dated: March 10, 2014
/s/ Amy E. Crawford
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ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF MICHIGAN’S PUBLIC EMPLOYEE DOMESTIC PARTNER BENEFIT RESTRICTION ACT OF 2011
Expert report submitted on behalf of Defense in Bassett v. Snyder, Case No. 2:12-cv-10038 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Submitted December 16, 2013 by Joseph Price, Ph.D.
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I. Assignment 1. The purpose of this report is to assess the economic impact of restricting public employee health benefits to couples who are married. I will first discuss ways in which marriage reduces expenditures and increases revenues for the state government of Michigan. Then I will discuss how changes in the economic incentives for marriage (such as restricting certain benefits to married couples) affect whether people marry. II. Qualifications 2. I am an Associate Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University, where I have worked since 2007. I received by Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University in 2007 and my emphasis of study was labor economics, health economics, and the economics of the family. 3. I have published 23 articles in peer-reviewed journals with another 7 that are accepted and will be published in the next year or so. My publications include articles in some of the top academic journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Demography and Management Science. My research has also received considerable media attention including coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, Today Show, and many other news outlets. I am regularly invited to present my research at different academic departments and at various academic conferences.
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4. I am an empirical economist that has conducted research on the impact of marriage on infant health outcomes, factors that influence the decision to marry, parental investments in children, and the outcomes of children raised by samesex couples. Although the specific topics that I have studied vary, the common theme in my research has been the use of large datasets, rigorous empirical methods, and complete transparency in all of my empirical methods. I make my data and analysis code available to other scholars and often provide additional analysis based on inquiries from the media. 5. Over the last several years, I have also been asked to review the academic work of other scholars by over 40 different scholarly journals. This experience of evaluating the work of others in a variety of fields gives me a strong background in discerning between research that is likely to result in correct inference and research where there is likely to be some source of estimation bias that will affect the interpretation of the results. This request by editors to have me assist in evaluating the research of other scholars is also a signal of the trust that other scholars place in my assessment of good research. 6. I have received several academic awards, grants, and honors. These include the Wells and Myrle Cloward Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship, the Emmaline B. Wells Scholarly and Creative Work Grant, and an Education and Social Opportunity Grant from the Spencer Foundation. My CV is attached as Exhibit A.
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7. My opinions in this report are based on the sources cited in the footnotes as well as my own calculations using government collected data that is publicly available. I reserve the right to supplement or modify this report based on any documents or other discovery that becomes available during the case or any witness testimony that has not yet been given. 8. I am being compensated $300 per hour for my time to prepare this expert witness report. III. Summary of findings 9. Marriage provides economic benefits to the state of Michigan by reducing welfare payments, increasing tax revenue, and reducing costs incurred by the state related to criminal justice and health care. A couple’s decision to marry is affected by changes in the costs or benefits of marriage. Restricting partner health benefits to married couples creates an additional incentive for couples to marry and this decision to marry produces economic benefits for the state of Michigan. Allowing partner health benefits to extend to cohabiting couples increases the relative incentive to cohabit instead of marry. This shift away from marriage among heterosexual couples will result in higher costs borne by the state of Michigan (since 99.3% of couples in Michigan are opposite-sex couples). IV. Economic benefits of marriage 10. There are at least three ways that marriage provides economic benefits to the state of Michigan. First, it dramatically reduces the probability that a household
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will receive public assistance. Second, it increases the earnings of individuals and households, thus directly increasing tax revenues. Third, it promotes positive behaviors in individuals that reduces the costs incurred by the state in providing correctional facilities, health services, and educational interventions. 11. One of the most challenging issues in this area of research is the degree to which associations between marriage and positive outcomes represent a causal effect or merely a correlation. The research that I discuss in this report represent articles published in well-respected academic journals and rigorous efforts to estimate the effect of marriage on these different outcomes. 12. Most of the studies that I describe will be based on nationally representative data and not specifically about Michigan. To provide a more specific view of the economic benefits of marriage to the state of Michigan, I use data from the American Community Survey (ACS) from 2001-2011 for all adults (ages 25-65) living in Michigan. The ACS data provides direct measures of most of the outcomes discussed in this section. In each case, I provide the raw difference between married and unmarried adults in Michigan as well as a regression adjusted difference that controls for the individual’s age, race/ethnicity, education, and citizenship status. I exclude from this analysis anyone living in a group quarters, which includes correctional facilities, residential treatment centers, military barracks, or college residence halls (though together these only constitute 1.5% of the original sample). Also, some of the measures that I discuss
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are only available in certain years of the American Community Survey and so my analysis for those measures will be restricted to a specific set of years. Marriage and welfare benefits 13. The most important impact of marriage on government expenditures is the fact that married couples are much less likely to be below the federal poverty line and as such are much less likely to receive any type of welfare or public assistance. Lichter, Graefe, and Brown use data on 7,665 women (ages 25-44) from the National Survey of Family Growth and find that women who are married are much less likely to be below the poverty line or to be receiving food stamps (one marker of welfare benefits in the survey). 1 In their empirical study that accounts for family background, race, age, education, and whether the individual had a teen birth, they find that women who are married have a 68% lower odds of being below the poverty time and 79% lower odds of currently receiving food stamps (see Tables 5 and 6). 14. Thomas and Sawhill analyze data from the 2004 wave of the Current Population Survey to examine how poverty rates among children vary based on the marital status of their parents. Overall, only 7.6% of married parent families with children are below the federal poverty line, compared to 34% for single parent families with children, and 21.5% for cohabitating couples with children.
Daniel Lichter, Deborah Graefe, and J. Brian Brown. "Is Marriage a Panacea? Union Formation Among Economically Disadvantaged Unwed Mothers." Social Problems 50, 2003, 60-86.
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15. While the SNAP/Food Stamp program is federally funded (with the state covering half of the administrative costs), it provides a well-defined measure of public assistance that can be easily compared across married and unmarried couples. As such, it serves as a useful proxy for other types of public assistance that are paid directly by the state of Michigan. Data from 2001-2011 ACS indicate that only 5.8% of married adults receive food stamps compared to 20.3% of the non-married adults. The gap for women is larger (5.7% vs. 23.7%) and including demographic controls reduces the overall gap by about a third (with an adjusted difference of 10.7 percentage points). Even including these additional controls, these results indicate that non-married adults are about three times more likely to receive food stamps. There are three years (2005-2007) for which the total amount of food stamps received during the year was included on the survey. If I average the total food stamp payments across all adults (even those not getting food stamps) then the average amount spent per married adult would be $88 compared to $281 for each unmarried adult (the regression adjusted difference is $120). 16. Another large form of public assistance in Michigan is Medicaid. Information on whether the individual is receiving Medicaid is available during the 2008-2011 waves of the ACS. During these years, I find that 5.9% of married adults received health insurance benefits through the Medicaid program compared to 19.2% of unmarried adults (the regression adjusted difference is 9.8 percentage points). Based on estimates by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average
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Medicaid payout per adult Medicaid enrollee in 2010 in the state of Michigan was $2,876 of which about 30% was paid directly by the state of Michigan. 2 17. A similar pattern is true for other forms of government welfare assistance including public housing, government rent subsidies, and school food subsidies. Unmarried adults are 6.4 times more likely to be living in public housing (2.8% vs. 0.4%), 8.1 times more likely to be receiving a government rent assistance (3.5% vs. 0.4%), and 1.9 times more likely to have children receiving a subsidized school lunch (9.6% vs. 4.9%). The two housing-related differences decrease by about 20% and the school lunch difference decreases by about 50% once I include controls for the demographic characteristics of the individuals. 18. In each of these comparisons, I have purposefully not controlled for whether the individual has children, even for outcomes that are clearly earmarked for families with children such as the school lunch program. The reason for not including this control is that whether an individual has children is codetermined with their decision to marry, thus including this as a control would bias my estimate of differences by marital status. 19. One program for which children are a major portion of the cost of the program is Medicaid. The cost differences estimated above were all about differences in Medicaid coverage of adults based on their own marital status. In the case of Medicaid, the marital status of the parents of the child can also have a dramatic cost savings by reducing the fraction of children in the state receiving health
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation “Medicaid Payments per Enrollee, FY2010”, http://kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/medicaid-payments-per-enrollee/
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insurance through Medicaid. Based on data from the 2008-2011 ACS, I find that 21.8% of children whose parents are married receive Medicaid benefits compared to 61.3% of children whose parents are not married.
Marriage and income 20. Marriage also has a direct impact on individual wages which in turn increases tax revenues for the state. Korenman and Neumark provide one of the most cited studies in this area. They use longitudinal data on men from both the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Men (NLS) and the personnel records of a large US company to document that marriage leads to larger wage increases for men. Using internal data on performance reports from the second dataset, they are able to show that these increases in wages operate through increases in these men’s productivity at work after they marry. They also use their results to note that about half of the observed raw correlation between marriage and income is due to selection into marriage and the other half is due to a causal effect of marriage. 3 21. Using data from the 2001-2008 ACS data for Michigan, I find that married adults earn about $10,000 more income each year ($40,500 vs. $30,470 in total personal income or $33,800 vs. $24,360 in terms of total wages and salary). In addition, married adults are about half as likely to be unemployed (6.3% vs. 12.6%). The marriage gap for men is much larger in terms of both income
Sanders Korenman and David Neumark. “Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?” Journal of Human Resources, 26, 1991, 282-307.
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($56,300 vs. $33,000) and unemployment (6.4% vs. 15.1%) while the marriage gap is slightly negative for women in terms of income ($25,400 vs. $28,200) but still positive in terms of unemployment (6.1% vs. 10.2%). While the personal income of married women is lower than non-married women the family income is much larger ($84,300 vs. $39,600) and this is especially true if I just restrict the sample to women who are part of a couple ($85,500 vs. $27,400). Adjusting these differences by demographic characteristics reduces both the income and unemployment gap in half. 22. To translate these income numbers into state income tax revenues I used the Taxsim program developed by the National Bureau of Economic Research. This program takes into account the differential way in which the tax code treats persons filing an individual or joint tax return. I find that the tax revenue for the average income of a single male in the state of Michigan would be $1,265 and the tax revenue average income of a single female would be $1,049. In contrast, a married couple making the average income for this group would jointly be paying a state income tax of $3,331. Marriage and public expenditures on criminal justice and health care 23. Marriage changes the behavior of adults that can produce costs savings to the state of Michigan by reducing the expenditures of various government programs. The most direct impact of marriage is on the costs involved with the criminal justice system. Probably one of the most extensive and rigorous studies on the effects of marriage on criminal behavior was conducted by Sampson, Laub, and
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Wimer. They gather the criminal records of 500 adolescents who were originally part of a study about adolescent delinquency. They combine this with information about each individual’s marital history so that they can compare how an individual’s likelihood to commit crime changes based on their marital status at the time. They find that marriage reduces the odds of committing a crime by 35%. 4 24. The authors discuss four mechanisms through which marriage reduces criminality. First, marriage creates an interdependent system of obligation, mutual support, and restraint. Second, marriage changes the daily structure and routine of individuals and pulls individuals away from deviant peers. Third, married couples monitor each other’s behaviors and have a vested interest in exerting control over each other’s actions. Fourth, marriage creates a psychological transformation in individuals that cause them to be more serious about life and take more responsibility. 25. The Vera Institute of Justice reports that the Michigan Department of Corrections spent $1.3 billion on the state prison system in 2010 making the cost to house one inmate for one year $28,117. In terms of the more broad category for which increased criminality affects state expenditures, the state of Michigan budgets $2.8 billion dollars for public safety and corrections. 5 None of these
Robert Sampson, John Laub, and Christopher Wimer. “Does marriage reduce crime? A counterfactual approach to within-individual causal effects.” Criminology, 44, 2006, 465-508. 5 Rick Snyder. State Budget Office, (2012). State of Michigan Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Lansing: State of Michigan.
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numbers include the costs borne directly by taxpayers of the state as the result of criminal activity in terms of theft, harm or lower quality of life. 6 26. Marriage also has a direct impact on state expenditures on health care through the Medicaid program. As discussed earlier, individuals who are married are less likely to be on Medicaid in the first place. However, even among married individuals that are eligible for Medicaid benefits the actual expenditures per enrollee are lower since marriage results in higher levels of overall health and lower levels of medical expenditures. 27. Researchers at Mathematica provide a detailed summary of research on the impacts of marriage on health care costs. They report that married individuals experience higher levels of overall health and thus have fewer doctor’s visits and shorter average hospital stays. This latter effect might operate through the fact that married individuals can rely on their spouse for informal care rather than spending a longer time in the hospital. In addition, marriage increases overall levels of health by reducing smoking, improving one’s diet, and increasing the use preventative services. 7 Marriage creates a situation in which individuals have a vested interest to invest in each other’s health and monitor each other’s behavior. Given the natural self-control issues inherent in most individuals, this
6 Mark Cohen, Alex Piquero, and Wesley Jennings. “Studying the Costs of Crime across Offender Trajectories.” Criminology and Public Policy, 2, 2010, 279-305. 7 Robert Wood, Brian Goesling, and Sarah Avellar. “The Effects of Marriage and Health: A Synthesis of Recent Research Evidence,” Mathematica Policy Research, 2007. Debra Umberson. “Family Status and Health Behaviors: Social Control as a Dimension of Social Integration” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 28, 1987, 306-319.
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level of social control from a spouse can have large effects in both the short and long run. V. Costs and benefits affect the decision to marry 28. While marriage is generally believed to be based primarily on love, there are a number of costs and benefits to getting married that influence whether or not a couple decides to marry. Much of the discussion in this section draws on a chapter that I wrote for the Research Handbook of Economics of Family Law about various factors that influence the decision to marry. 8 The general point of this section is that individuals respond to economic incentives when deciding to marry just as they do with almost any other decision in life. 29. The specific question in this case is whether a couple would decide to marry in order to receive employer provided health benefits. While this specific question has not been addressed in the academic literature, there has been considerable research on other benefits and costs to getting married that relate directly to this issue. In particular, I will discuss the impact of various government economic incentives (or disincentives) that have been shown to impact marriage including pension benefits, taxes, and direct costs to getting married. Pension benefits 30. Two of the largest benefits that employers provide to the spouse of their employees are health insurance and pensions. Pension benefits for married
Joseph Price. “Is it Just about Love?: Factors that Influence Marriage.” Research Handbook on the Economics of Family Law, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011.
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couples provide a likely comparison to restricting health insurance benefits based on marital status. I will describe the empirical results of three studies, all published in top academic journals that provide results based on policy changes in Sweden, the US, and Canada. 31. The most notable example of how a change in benefits attached to marriage can increase marriage rates comes from the response to a change in rules governing a widow’s pension that occurred in Sweden in 1989. The policy allowed women who married by the end of the year to have access to a widow’s pension for the rest of their life (the new policy would provide benefits for only 12 months). Björklund, Ginther, and Sundström find that the number of marriages that occurred in December 1989 jumped from its historic average of 3,000 up to 64,000 marriages (a 21-fold increase). There was no change in marriage rates in the early 1990’s, indicating that the policy change actually increased the stock of married couples rather than simply changing the timing of marriages that would have occurred anyways. 9 32. Brien, Dickert-Conlin, and Weaver provide similar evidence in the US regarding eligibility rules for widows to receive Social Security benefits but where the incentives to marry are reversed. Prior to 1979, widows who remarried after age 60 were only eligible for half of their spouse’s benefits. In 1979, this disincentive
Anders Björklund, Donna Ginther, and Marianne Sundström. “Does Marriage Matter for Children? Assessing the Causal Impact of Legal Marriage.” IZA Discussion Paper #3189, 2007.
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to marry was removed. The authors of this study find that the removal of this disincentive increased marriage rates among 60-70 year-olds by 30%. 10 33. Baker, Hanna, and Kantarevic examine the effect of a pension policy change in Canada on marriage decisions. Up until the mid-1980s, widows in Canada would lose their pension when they remarried. Reforms in Quebec in 1984 and in the rest of Canada in 1987 eliminated this marriage penalty, and allowed widows that remarried to keep their pensions. The removal of this marriage penalty increased the incentive to remarry, and widows in Canada responded accordingly. They found that there was a statistically significant increase in remarriage rates across age groups with marriage rates increasing by 24%-100%. For example, a 100% increase in rates for females aged 35-44 in Quebec, and a 24% increase for the same age group in the rest of Canada. The policy change was much larger in Quebec (than in the rest of Canada) where the highest penalties had been in place prior to the reform. 11 34. All three of these studies illustrate that changes tying employer-provided benefits to marital status creates an incentive to marry and increases individual’s decisions to marry (or not marry).
Michael Brien, Stacy Dickert-Conlin, and David Weaver. “Widows Waiting to Wed?” (Re)Marriage and Economic Incentives in Social Security Widow Benefits.” Journal of Human Resources, 2004, 585-623. 11 Michael Baker, Emily Hanna, and Jasmin Kantarevic. “The married widow: Marriage penalties matter!” Journal of the European Economic Association, 2. 2004, 634-664.
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Tax penalties (or subsidies) 35. The tax code provides another setting in which economic incentives possibly affect the decision to marry. The marriage disincentives for women who work can be particularly large. Alm and Whittington use earnings data from nevermarried individuals in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine how the effect of marriage penalties embedded in the tax code influences the decision to marry. They find that women in their sample experience an average marriage tax penalty of $2,620 per year, though this amount ranges from -$5,675 (a marriage subsidy) to $14,233 (a large marriage tax). For men, the marriage provides an average tax benefit of $429 though this amount ranges from a benefit of $3,997 to a penalty of $3,565. All of these estimates are based on empirical predictions of what the individual’s earnings and spouses earnings would be if they were married (using an approach developed by Ted Schultz). 12 36. Alm and Whittington find that for women the effect of the tax penalty is relatively small when evaluated at the average penalty and has an elasticity of 0.23, which means that a 10% increase in the tax penalty would reduce the probability of marriage by 2.3%. However, when evaluated at the maximum penalty for women in the sample, the elasticity is -1.25 suggesting that for this group, for whom the tax penalty might be particularly salient, a 10% increase in the tax penalty can reduce the probability of the woman marrying by 12.5%. The
T. Paul Shultz. “Marital Status and fertility in the United States.” Journal of Human Resources, 29, 1994, 637-69.
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effect of the marriage penalty on the marriage decisions of men was smaller in magnitude and not statistically significant. 13 Direct costs of getting married 37. There is also evidence that even small one-time costs to marry can be a disincentive for some couples to marry and this is even true for couples who have already had a child together. Historically states have required a blood test to occur prior to issuing a marriage license. These blood tests cost about $30-200 depending on whether the couple has them done at a clinic or a doctor’s office. Over time these laws have been repealed, lowering the direct cost of getting married. In a paper I coauthored with Kasey Buckles and Melanie Guldi, we find that the repeal of these blood test laws increased marriage licenses by 5.7%. About half of these marriages end up occurring in adjoining states, suggesting the overall increase in the marriage rate is about 3%. 14 Comparison to current case 38. While none of the past research on the incentives to marry has empirically tested the impact of tying employer-provided spousal health insurance to marital status, the evidence based on the closest analog (spousal pension benefits) suggests that removing this particular marriage-connected benefit will change the incentive to marry for many couples. The other studies about the effects of
James Alm and Leslie Whittington. “Does the Income Tax Affect Marital Decisions?” National Tax Journal, 48, 1995, 565-572. 14 Kasey Buckles, Melanie Guldi, and Joseph Price. “Change in the Price of Marriage: Evidence from Blood Test Requirements.” Journal of Human Resources, 46, 2011, 539-567.
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incentives embedded in the tax code or the direct costs of getting married provide supporting evidence that economic incentives have real impacts on the decision to marry. 39. The exact size of the economic incentive created by this policy will vary across couples based on the other opportunities that are available to the partner of the public employee. However, for many couples the economic incentives of receiving health insurance benefits through a spouse will be rather large and at least as large as the economic incentives discussed in the prior research on this issue. 40. The plaintiffs note that the “costs of domestic-partner benefits to public employers are limited because, among other reasons, the pool of lesbian and gay employees usually is very small, and not all employees in same-sex relationships enroll in such coverage.” This explanation is faulty for two reasons. First, it ignores that fact that the law change applies to unmarried opposite-sex couples as well and there are 11 times as many unmarried opposite-sex couples as there are same-sex couples in the state of Michigan. Second, it ignores the unintended consequences of undermining marriage and increasing the relative incentive of opposite-sex couples to cohabit instead of marry. The social and economic costs of undermining marriage among opposite-sex couples constitute a much larger economic consideration since there are 150 times as many opposite-sex couples in the state of Michigan as there are same-sex couples. Thus while the arguments provided by the Plaintiffs focus on the effects of the Public Employee
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Domestic Partner Benefit Restriction Act has on same-sex couples. They ignore the beneficial social and economic effects the law has for the state of Michigan. VI. Conclusions 41. Restricting public employer provided health care benefits to married couples has the effect of fostering marriage as defined by Michigan’s Constitution, that is between one man and one woman. Marriage provides economic benefits to the state of Michigan by reducing welfare payments, increasing tax revenue, and reducing costs incurred by the state related to criminal justice and health care. 42. A couple’s decision to marry is affected by changes in the benefits of marriage and the benefits afforded to alternative arrangements, such as cohabitation. Restricting partner health benefits to married couples creates an additional incentive for couples to marry and this decision to marry produces economic benefits for the state of Michigan. Extending these benefits to cohabiting couples increases the direct costs to public employers to cover these benefits and increases the relative incentive to cohabit instead of marry. While the plantiff’s arguments focus on the direct effects on same-sex couples, they ignore the effects overturning the law would have on the 92% of unmarried couples in Michigan that are opposite-sex and any social and economic benefits to the state itself.
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Dated: December 16, 2013
Joseph Price, PhD
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Exhibit A: Curriculum Vitae
Joseph Price Brigham Young University Department of Economics 162 FOB Provo, UT 84602 Office: (801) 422-5296 Email: email@example.com
Positions: Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Brigham Young University, 2013 Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Brigham Young University, 2007-2013 Faculty Research Fellow, NBER, 2008 – Research Fellow, IZA, 2010Education: Ph.D. Economics, Cornell University, August 2007. B.A. Economics, Brigham Young University, August 2003. Publications: Buckles, Kasey and Joseph Price. “Selection and the Marriage Premium for Infant Health.” Demography, forthcoming. Just, David and Joseph Price. “Using Incentives to Encourage Healthy Eating in Children” Journal of Human Resources, forthcoming. Platt, Brennan; Joseph Price; and Henry Tappen.“Pay-to-Bid Auctions” Management Science, forthcoming.
Just, David and Joseph Price. “Default options and Food Choices” Public Health and Nutrition, forthcoming.
Davis, Michael; Craig Palsson, Joseph Price. “Taxing the Opposition: Cactus League Attendance and the Efficiency of the ‘Cubs Tax’” International Journal of Sports Finance, forthcoming. Parkinson, Kristy; Joseph Price, Kosali Simon, and Sharon Tennyson. “Consumer Reactions to Drug Information: Response to FDA Warnings on Antidepressants” Review of Economics and the Household, forthcoming. Allen, Douglas; Catherine Pakaluk, and Joseph Price. “Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress through School: A Comment on Rosenfeld.” Demography, 50(3): 955-961, 2013.
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Cotton, Christopher; Frank McIntyre; and Joseph Price. “Gender Differences in Reaction to Repeated Competition” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 86, 52-66, 2013. Palsson, Craig; Joseph Price, and Jared Shores, “Ratings and Movie Revenues: Evidence from Movie Ratings” Contemporary Economic Policy, 31(1), 13-21, 2013. Dahl, Gordon and Joseph Price. “The Economist’s Approach to Studying the Impact of Media on the Family.” Family Relations, 61(3), 363-373, 2012. Lefgren, Lars; Joseph Price, and Henry Tappen. “Interracial Workplace Cooperation: Evidence from the NBA.” Economic Inquiry, 51(1): 1026-1034, 2013. Patterson, Rich and Joseph Price. “Pornography, Religion, and the Happiness Gap: Does Pornography Affect the Actively Religious Differently.” Journal of the Scientific Study of Religion, 51(1): 79-89, 2012. Price, Joseph and Justin Wolfers. “Biased Referees?: Reconciling Results with the NBA’s Analysis” Contemporary Economic Policy, 30(3): 320-328, 2012. Price, Joseph; Marc Remer, and Daniel Stone. “Sub-Perfect Game: Profitable Biases of NBA Referees.” Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 21(1): 271-300, 2012.
Price, Joseph and Jeffrey Swigert. “Within-Family Variation in Obesity.” Economics & Human Biology, 10(4): 333-339, 2012. Price, Joseph and Jason Riis. “Behavioral Economics and the Psychology of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption.” Journal of Food Studies, 1(1), 2012.
Just, David; Jesse Lund, and Joseph Price. “The role of variety in increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables among children” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 41(1): 72-81, 2012. Price, Joseph; Joshua Price, and Kosali Simon. “Educational Gaps in Medical Care and Health Behavior: Evidence from Natality Data.” Economics of Education Review, 30(5): 838849, 2011. Price, Joseph. “Is it Just about Love?: Factors that Influence Marriage.” Handbook of Family Law & Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, (ed. Lloyd Cohen and Joshua Wright), 2011. Price, Joseph, and Simon, Daniel. “High School Sports and Teenage Births”. In “The Economics of Sport, Health, and Happiness: The Promotion of Well-Being through Sporting Activities” Edward Elgar Publishing, (ed. Placido Rodriquez, Stefan Kesenne, and Brad Humphreys), 2011. Cao, Zheng; Joseph Price, and Daniel Stone. “Performance under Pressure in the NBA” Journal of Sports Economics, 12(3): 231-252, 2011.
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Buckles, Kasey; Melanie Guldi, and Joseph Price. “Changing the Price of Marriage” Journal of Human Resources, 46(3): 539-567, 2011. Dew, Jeffrey and Joseph Price. “Beyond Employment and Income: The Association between Young Adults' Finances and Marital Timing” Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 32(2): 424-436, 2011. Price, Joseph and Justin Wolfers. “Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125(4): 1859-1887, 2010. Price, Joseph; Brian Soebbing; David Berri; and Brad Humphreys. “Tournament Incentives, League Policy, and NBA Team Performance Revisited” Journal of Sports Economics, 11(2): 117-135, 2010. Price, Joseph and Kosali Simon. “Education and the Response to Medical Research” (with Kosali Simon), Journal of Health Economics, 28(6): 1166–1174, 2009. Wight, Suzanne; Suzanne Bianchi, Joseph Price, and Bijou Hunt. “Teenage Time Use” Social Science Research, 38(4): 792-806, 2009. Price, Joseph. “Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?” Journal of Human Resources 43(1): 240–265, 2008. Price, Joseph. “Gender Differences in the Response to Competition” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 61 (3), 320-333, 2008. Larsen, Timothy; Joseph Price, and Justin Wolfers. “Racial Bias in the NBA: Implications in Betting Markets” Journal of the Quantitative Analysis of Sports, 4(2), article 7, 2008. Ehrenberg, Ronald; George Jakubson; Jeffrey Groen, Eric So, and Joseph Price. “Inside the Black Box of Doctoral Education” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 29(2): 134-150, 2007. Under Review or Revise-Resubmit: “The Number of Children Being Raised by Gay or Lesbian Parents” (with Ryan Hill* and Corbin Miller*) “Sticking with What (Barely) Worked” (with Lars Lefgren and Brennan Platt). “What Matters in Movie Ratings? Cross-country Differences in which Content Influence Mature Movie Ratings” (with Doug Gentile and Craig Palsson*). “How Much More XXX is Generation X Using?” (with Rich Patterson* and Mark Regnerus) “Pornography and Marriage” (with Kirk Doran)
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“Causes of gender differences in competition: theory and evidence” (with Chris Cotton and Frank McIntyre) “Lunch, Recess, and Nutrition: Responding to Time Incentives in the Cafeteria” (with David Just) “Technological change, relative worker productivity, and firm-level substitution: Evidence from the NBA ” (with Grant Gannaway*, Craig Palsson*, and David Sims) “Impact of fruit smoothies on adolescent fruit and milk consumption during school breakfast” (with Dylan Bates*) “The Effect of Teenage Childbearing on Adult Civic Engagement” (with Joseph Sabia, Liz Peters, and Reggie Covington) Grants: Benjamin Miller Research Grant, ILR, Cornell ($2,500), 1/2007 Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center Innovative Research Project Grant (w/ Kosali Simon), Cornell ($3,330), 6/2007 Institute for Social Science Seed Grant (w/ Kosali Simon), Cornell ($6,500), 7/2007 Women’s Research Institute, BYU ($3,000), 11/2007 Family Studies Center, BYU ($6,000), 11/2007 Mentored Environment Grant, BYU ($13,000), 4/2008 Small Grants Program in Behavioral Economics (w/ David Just), USDA ERS ($30,000), 8/2008 Gerontology Program, BYU ($3,400), 2/2009 Mentored Environment Grant, BYU ($13,090), 12/2009 Family Studies Center, BYU ($3,400), 12/2009 Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (w/ David Just), USDA ERS ($150,000), 8/2010 Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program (w/ David Just), ($29,000), 7/2011 Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program (w/ George Lowenstein, Paul Rozin, and Kevin Volpp), USDA ERS ($250,000), 8/2011 Mentored Environment Grant, BYU ($16,200), 12/2011 Family Studies Center (w/ Mike Findley and Dan Nielsen), BYU ($10,000), 1/2012 Education and Social Opportunity Grant (w/ Chris Cotton and Thomas Dee), Spencer Foundation ($28,000), 1/2012 Mentored Environment Grant, BYU ($10,870), 1/2013 Emmaline B. Wells Grant, BYU ($9,300), 1/2013 Professional Activities: Referee for: Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, American Economics Review, American Law and Economics Review, AEJ-Policy; AEJ-Applied; American Journal of Public Health, Biodemography, Demography, Economics and Human Biology, Economic Inquiry, Economica, Economic Journal, Economics Bulletin, Economics of Education Review,
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Econometrics, Educational Finance and Policy, Evaluation and Program Planning, Health Economics, Interfaces, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizations, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Population Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, Journal of the Scientific Study of Religion, Labour Economics, Management Science, Oxford Economic Papers, Pediatrics, Political Research Quarterly, Public Health and Nutrition, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, Sexualities, Social Science Journal, Social Forces, Social Science and Medicine, Social Science Research, Southern Economic Journal Discussant: SEA (2006-2007, 2009-2010, 2012), APPAM (2006), WEA (2007, 2009, 20112013), AEA (2008, 2010-2011), SWEA (2008), PAA (2008), Social Costs of Pornography (2008), WSSA (2011), ASHEcon (2010, 2012)
Conference Presentations: American Society of Health Economists: 2008, 2010, 2012 APPAM research conference: 2005, 2006, 2012 Population Association of America: 2006-2010, 2013 Society of Labor Economics: 2006 (poster), 2007, 2008 (poster) American Economic Association: 2013 Southern Economic Association: 2006-2007, 2009-2010, 2012-2013 Western Economic Association: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011-2013 NBER summer institute, Children’s workshop: 2005 USDA ERS conference: 2010 SIEPR Policy Forum, Sports Economics and Policy: 2011 Symposium on Behavioral Economics and Health: 2011-2013 Food Marketing Workgroup Conference: 2011 Western Social Science Association: 2011, 2013 American Public Health Association: 2012 Child Development Conference (Norway): 2009 Intl. Association of Agricultural Economists (China): 2009 Quadrilateral Behavioural Economics Workshop: 2011 IZA Conference on Discrimination (Germany): 2011 Gijon Conference on Sports Economics (Spain): 2010 National Poverty Center Conference on Religion: 2007 American Time Use conference: 2005 (poster), 2009 Mellon Foundation Graduate Education Initiative Conference: 2005 Intl. Assoc. of Sports Economists Conference: 2005 Invited Seminars: U. Illinois-Chicago (Feb. 2014); U. South Florida (Nov. 2013); Chicago- Harris School (Nov. 2013); U. Sydney (Aug. 2013); ANU (Aug. 2013); UT Austin (March 2012); Texas A&M (March 2012); Iowa State (Nov. 2011); LSU (March 2011); U. Pennsylvania (Feb. 2011); U. Miami (Feb. 2011); Michigan (Jan 2011); Notre Dame (Nov. 2011); Case Western (Nov 2010); UC Riverside (Oct 2010); UC Denver (April 2010); Washington University (March 2010); Utah Valley University (March 2010); U. British Columbia (Dec. 2009); U. Victoria (Dec. 2009); U. Utah (Dec. 2009); Virginia Tech (Nov. 2009); Florida State (April 2009); U. Washington (Feb 2009); Oregon State (Nov 2008); Baylor (Oct 2008); U. Miami (Oct 2008);
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UT-Arlington (April 2008); RAND (Nov 2007); Wharton (May 2006); Cornell (April 2006); U. of Oregon (August 2005) Brigham Young University: Sociology: (Oct 2007); Statistics (March 2008); Family Studies: (April 2008); Women’s Research Institute: (Jan 2009); EIME (March 2010), Nutrition (Oct 2010), Communications (Oct 2013).
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Page 124 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Veritext Legal Solutions Midwest www.veritext.com 888-391-3376 A. Q. Q. A. Q. A. A. Q. A. Q. Q. So Sampson doesn't offer an opinion other than to say other relationships between besides marriage might capture the crime suppressing benefits, right? Sure. Fair to say Sampson doesn't support the proposition that moving couples from cohabitation to marriage will have any effect on crime, right? His data wouldn't allow him to say that, yes. So as you sit here you wouldn't say that Sampson gives you sufficient data to opine that moving couples from cohabitation to marriage will reduce crime, right? Again, since cohabiting couples are rather unstable they kind of move in and out of singlehood, so, yeah, this paper would not provide the clearest comparison between cohabitation and married couples. Well, it doesn't provide any comparison, does it? That's correct. So as you sit here today can you point to any data that you cite in your paper for the proposition that moving cohabiting couples from cohabitation to marriage will have any effect on crime, right? Nothing that I cite here in my report. You didn't re-analyze Sampson's data to get at that question, did you?
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