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Valley economist: Gay marriages won’t bring $60M to Arizona

LISTEN: Elliott D. Pollack

PHOENIX — A recent study conducted by lawyers and economists for UCLA revealed that legalizing gay marriage in Arizona would give a major boost to the economy.

One Valley expert, however, says, “not so fast.”

In short, the report revealed that legalizing gay marriage in the state would bring an extra $60 million in revenue and employ approximately 500 people.

But local economist Elliott Pollack, CEO of Elliott D. Pollack and Company, told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos on Wednesday that there’s a flaw in the results.

“That impact study makes the classic error of a lot of impact studies: It’s the gross impact instead of the net impact,” he explained. “In other words, they include money that would have been spent in Arizona anyway.”

Pollack said there are essentially three factors that matter in conducting a study like this.

“If it brings people in from the outside to get married here and they bring in the money and then they leave, that’s a positive impact,” he said. “If it’s money that would have been saved, but they decide to spend it…and if the people might have gone to another state to get married…but they had it here.”

After considering those three factors, Pollack said the report may be way off on its economic conclusions, saying the total impact would “probably be about one-third of what that article represented.”

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