March 21 2013

A Novel Idea about the Falling Wages of Male Workers...

Charlotte Hays

More evidence, if any is needed, that on-site fathers are keys to producing successful men:  

The decline of two-parent households may be a significant reason for the divergent fortunes of male workers, whose earnings generally declined in recent decades, and female workers, whose earnings generally increased, a prominent labor economist argues in a new survey of existing research.

David H. Autor, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that the difference between men and women, at least in part, may have roots in childhood. Only 63 percent of children lived in a household with two parents in 2010, down from 82 percent in 1970.

The single parents raising the rest of those children are predominantly female. And there is growing evidence that sons raised by single mothers “appear to fare particularly poorly,” Professor Autor wrote in an analysis for Third Way, a center-left policy research organization.

It is a vicious circle: men who aren’t successful are less attractive as partners, so women opt for bringing up their sons alone, thus producing the next generation of men who are likely to be less successful.

A recent report found that by age 25, 44 percent of women have a child, but only 38 per cent of this age group are married. Forty-eight percent of first children in the U.S. are born to women who are not married. Women with a high-school diploma or some college generally have a first child two years or more after marrying.

What this seems to show is that single-parent families are bad for boys but likely to increase. It is also an underclass phenomenon--in other words, the people who most need to work hard to get ahead, are hampered at the beginning.

I’m with Charles Murray—the least we can do is be judgmental about such behavior, as a first step to once again making the two-parent family the norm.

We owe it to the boys.

 

 

 

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