Same-sex marriage legalization linked to a decrease in teen suicide attempts

This article in The Guardian discusses in detail a paper just published in JAMA Pediatrics, co-authored by Julia Raifman, Ellen Moscoe, S. Bryn Austin, and Margaret McConnell.

The first link above leads to a nice explanation of the results of the paper, and the second leads to an extended abstract that readers who are adept in econometrics (and other statistics-savvy people) will want to read closely.

It seems to me that the marginal benefit of same-sex marriage legalization includes the saving of many lives. The marginal economic cost is negligible, if it is even positive, compared to such a marginal benefit. Individuals wishing to argue that the moral marginal cost outweighs the marginal benefit will find it very hard to convince me of their case.

UPDATE: I changed “suicides” to “suicide attempts” in the title of this post for higher accuracy.

Stress getting worse for adolescents

I just came across this piece by Vicki Abeles in the New York Times. It discusses the effect on young people of the stress that the rat race in schools creates. The numbers are alarming.

For an economist like myself, a big question arises from this regarding the (in)famous efficiency of “free”, “perfectly competitive” markets, which are of course a theoretical fiction used to exalt the effect of competition on human welfare. Pretty obviously, we need to be very careful to amend our treatment of welfare. This brings to mind a sequence of blog posts on interfluidity, starting with this one, which I have set aside on my browser to read carefully. Now that the holiday festivities have quieted down, I plan to do that and post my thoughts here. Consider this a promise.