Monday, March 30, 2015

Spoke Too Soon

Last week, I wrote about how no economists seem to want to actually publicly write about queer economic issues. Rajiv Sethi at Barnard proved me wrong.

Rajiv notes that in the wake of the passage of RFRA, certain businesses have begun posting notices that they will serve everyone. Sethi reduces this scenario to a signaling game. He goes through some potential outcomes depending on political demographics of particular areas.

I'm skeptical, however, in the fidelity of this sticker as a signaling device. Sethi poses the mere existence of these stickers anywhere in the state as an impetus for every business to make an active decision as to whether they support or oppose serving queer folks.

While I tend to agree that the adoption of such a sticker sends a clear message, I would never underestimate the ability of conservatives to deny the bigotry that they harbor. To me, it seems unlikely that a refusal to post the sticker in itself will be taken by red-state liberal consumers as a clear rejection of equality.

It's yet to be seen whether any businesses will adopt "Breeders Only" signs. I really hope not.