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M.V. Lee Badgett - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

M.V. Lee Badgett M.V. Lee Badgett

Professor of Economics / Director, Center for Public Policy and Administration / Co-director Center for Employment Equity | University of Massachusetts Amherst


M. V. Lee Badgett is one of the world’s leading experts on the economics of same-sex marriage.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Economics of Sexual Orientation and Same-Sex Marriage

Gay Marriage

LGBT Inclusion

Labor Economics

Same-sex Couples


M. V. Lee Badgett is one of the world’s leading experts on the economics of same-sex marriage, and is interviewed frequently in media coverage of gay marriage efforts both domestically and internationally.

She has appeared on National Public Radio, in the New York Times, the Washington Post and other national and international media.

For her testimony in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial challenging California’s Proposition 8, Badgett drew from research she conducted for her book "When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage," which addressed the core issues in marriage debates in European countries and the U.S.

Janet Yellen, former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, called Badgett's 2020 book, "The Economic Case for LGBT Equality:", "eye-opening in its global scope .... a must-read for all business leaders and policymakers.”


Video Appearances





Education (2)

The University of California, Berkeley: Ph.D., Economics

The University of Chicago: A.B., Economics

Press Coverage (6)

Even with ruling, workplace still unequal for LGBTQ workers

Associated Press  print


"Even with this week’s Supreme Court ruling, the workplace will be far from equal for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Some big employers do allow employees to indicate on their human resources forms that they are LGBTQ, like they do for gender and race, said M.V. Lee Badgett, an economics professor and co-director of the Center for Employment Equity at the University of Massachusetts Amherst."

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Lee Badgett on the economic case for LGBT equality

Los Angeles Blade  print


Lee Badgett says her new book, 'The Economic Case for LGBT Equality" is an attempt to explain “why it’s a good idea to have full inclusion for LGBT people in our societies — and the economic reasons are a big piece of that ... If countries want to improve economically, “then you have to take a good close look at how well you’re treating LGBT people. And for that matter, other groups that are traditionally disadvantaged, women and people of color. "

Lee Badgett Book

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UMass Amherst study uses IBM as a diversity model

MassLive  online


The University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Employment Equity has used an examination of IBM to launch series of case studies designed to explore the business rationale and goals of companies when adopting inclusive policies and practices. “We need to learn how innovative companies do the work of diversity and inclusion,” said economist and CEE co-director M.V. Lee Badgett, professor of economics and public policy.

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2020 Census Will Include Checkboxes To Count Same-Sex Couples

WABE | NPR Station in Atlanta  


Lee Badgett comments in a story about why a new question on the national census about same sex couples is important.

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A Year After a #MeToo Reckoning, Economists Still Grapple With It

The New York Times  


Lee Badgett, co-chair of the American Economic Association's new Committee on the Status of LGBTQ+ Individuals in the Economics Profession, comments on the need for the Association to act in response to revelations of sexism, racism and harassment in the profession.

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Gay activists in India push top court to end ban on homosexuality — in part for the economy’s sake

The Washington Post  


Lee Badgett is quoted in an article about the costs of discrimination against against LGBTQ people in India.

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Publications (2)

The Connection Between Strong Economies and LGBT Rights Is No Joke

The Advocate

M.V. Lee Badgett, Andrew Flores and Andrew Park


In the past, many governments around the world have seen LGBT rights as a fringe issue. But now LGBT people are getting the world’s attention on core issues of life and death.

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Follow the Author M. V. Lee Badgett + Follow The Economic Case for LGBT Equality: Why Fair and Equal Treatment Benefits Us All (Book)

Beacon Press

M.V. Lee Badgett


Economics professor Lee Badgett demonstrates how LGBT equality and inclusion within organizations increases their bottom line and allows for countries' economies to flourish.

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