by Greg Krehbiel on 27 January 2014
If President Obama really wants to solve the income inequality problem, help Americans be more upwardly mobile and get more women and children out of poverty, he should support marriage. See this article. Here are some key quotes.
What are the factors preventing poor children from getting ahead? … Of all the factors most predictive of economic mobility in America, one factor clearly stands out in their study: family structure. By their reckoning, when it comes to mobility, “the strongest and most robust predictor is the fraction of children with single parents.” They find that children raised in communities with high percentages of single mothers are significantly less likely to experience absolute and relative mobility. Moreover, “[c]hildren of married parents also have higher rates of upward mobility if they live in communities with fewer single parents.” In other words, as the figure below indicates, it looks like a married village is more likely to raise the economic prospects of a poor child.
What’s particularly interesting to me in this finding is that the liberal / individualist would be inclined to ask how my marriage or my kids are hurt by the increase in single parenthood. Or, IOW, it’s none of my business if other people choose non-traditional family situations.
Big surprise! It turns out that is wrong.
What makes this finding particularly significant is that this is the first major study showing that rates of single parenthood at the community level are linked to children’s economic opportunities over the course of their lives. A lot of research—including new research from the Brookings Institution—has shown us that kids are more likely to climb the income ladder when they are raised by two, married parents. But this is the first study to show that lower-income kids from both single- and married-parent families are more likely to succeed if they hail from a community with lots of two-parent families. (Emphasis in original.)
-- 2014-01-27 » Greg Krehbiel