Marriage reforms are slowing the economy

Summary: Married men work harder than single men. This ‘marriage premium’ helps power the US economy. Reforms to marriage are destroying it.

Men in the rat race

 

The mysterious male marriage premium.

By Dalrock, from his website.
Reposted with his generous permission.

 

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit explains why he left big law:

“I looked at the partners and their lives and thought, ‘this is what it looks like when you win?’ But one thing I noticed about a lot of the partners was that they worked hard and pushed for more compensation because they were married to women who spent a lot of money. Perhaps the older women lawyers don’t have that incentive to stick around.”

commenter echoed Glenn’s description of the pressure involved for those who stay in big law:

“Chasing partnership in Big Law has been described, properly, as ‘a pie-eating contest where the prize is more pie.’ Best thing that ever happened to me was getting sacked from a Big Law firm in October ’08, when the legal market (and the economy at large) collapsed. I’ve done a bit of solo work, which has been grand, and am now outside general counsel to two companies and having a grand time of life.

“I would rather sell everything I own and take up bartending than go back to life in a big firm — even if it were possible at this stage, which it pretty much isn’t. Sorry I spent 10 years trying to make that crap work.”

As you may recall, the pressure married men feel to seek out and remain in more stressful and difficult jobs is a key benefit Dennis Prager and Brad Wilcox claim men get from marriage {details here}. While obviously not all married men seek out and remain in jobs as stressful as big law, as Glenn suggests marriage does push men to make career choices they otherwise would prefer to avoid.

This isn’t bad in itself, but the lengths we go to in order to minimize the sacrifices married men are making is a problem.  This kind of foolishness prevents us from understanding the true cost of feminist policies to destroy traditional marriage. Being forced to work much harder to support others is not a benefit of marriage to men, just as the benefit of buying a home isn’t the need to work harder to pay the mortgage.

While Prager and Wilcox sell pressure to work more difficult jobs as a benefit to men, at least they understand that for men marriage comes with pressure to earn more. That men take on obligations as bread winners in marriage that women don’t would come as a terrible shock to many, probably most, economists. In fact, this is something economists go to great lengths to avoid seeing.

One of the favorite theories is that marriage frees men up to focus more on paid work. By this theory, single men dream of working a more dangerous job with more stress, a longer commute, and working more hours, but are prevented from chasing this lifestyle by the constant demands of housework. These poor single men are stuck putting dishes in the dishwasher when they could be sitting in traffic, traveling for business, or working late into the night.

This absurd feminist theory simply won’t die, even though the data shows that marriage increases men’s focus on paid work while not reducing their focus on housework.  As Abbigail J. Chiodo and Michael T. Owyang at the St Louis Fed explain in “For Love or Money: Why Married Men Make More.”

“If a man spends less time on housework after he is married, then it makes sense that he would see an increase in his wages because the extra time and effort spent at work would increase his productivity and promotion chances. …

“{W}hile marriage does seem to make men more productive in the market (i.e., men begin making higher wages after marriage), household specialization does not seem to be the cause. They find little difference between married and unmarried men in the time they spend on home production.

“If the productivity from marriage itself is not the result of decreased hours spent on housework, as Hersche and Stratton suggest, then where does that improved productivity come from? Because the earnings of divorced or separated men are higher than those of never-married men, the added productivity that accompanies marriage must be of two kinds:

(1) productivity from the marriage itself, and/or
(2) advantages that remain even after the marriage is dissolved.

Korenman and David Neumark argue in a 1991 study that the wage premium earned by divorced or separated men is attributable to the advantages gained while married. Their evidence is that wages grow more slowly in the years of divorce or separation.”

Economic papers are filled with this kind of willful misunderstanding of what is going on. Why do men earn more after marrying, and then after divorce tend to stop growing their earnings? The answer is quite simple, and boils down to incentives. Men who want to marry know they need to earn more to signal provider status. After marriage men have greater responsibilities, and therefore have to earn even more.

Threats of divorce ratchet this pressure up further, as men understand that the family courts are designed to separate fathers from their children while financially rewarding the mother at the father’s expense. Divorce for women means ejecting the man and keeping both the kids and a large part of his paycheck. Divorce for men means losing the kids and paying a steep monthly fee to finance the operation.

But since divorce removes the incentive married men naturally feel to earn more money, family court judges know they need to replace the natural incentive with something else. This is why the family courts assign men earnings quotas (imputed income) based on their previous income. The man might earn less than his quota, but he will be billed for child support and/or alimony based on this quota. This quota system is enforced with the threat of imprisonment, and is not surprisingly despised by the men who find themselves forced into it.

This explains why divorced men earn more than never married men;  they have a quota to meet based on their income at the end of the marriage. If they don’t maintain their married level of earnings, they will be sent to prison.

It also explains why divorced men’s earnings tend not to grow like they would have were they still married; quota systems are effective in the short term at coercing hard work, but they create a disincentive for increasing productivity. Under a quota system earning more only increases your quota.  Most men under our new quota system will work hard enough to stay out of prison, but they aren’t going to take risks and/or work harder for the privilege of increasing their quota.

Note that while Prager and Wilcox claim the pressure married men feel to work harder is a benefit to men, the St. Louis Fed likewise implies that being forced by a court to pay alimony and/or child support is an advantage divorced men have which never married men lack (emphasis mine):

“{T}he added productivity that accompanies marriage must be of two kinds: (1) productivity from the marriage itself and/or (2) advantages that remain even after the marriage is dissolved.”

We won the cold war because an incentive based system leads to a kind of dynamic productivity that a quota based system can’t ever hope to create. Yet we have dramatically reworked our family structure in ways only the Soviets could truly appreciate. This new system is hurting us in ways we refuse to accept, because accepting the cost would force us to rethink our family model.

Part of the problem is that the costs associated with replacing marriage with a child support system weren’t immediately obvious. Since we pretended we still had a fundamentally marriage based family structure, initially men carried on as if that was the case.  In fact, most men today still do so. However, over time the reality of the new system has caused not a marriage strike, but something more ominous.  Just like with the Soviet system, this will continue until we decide the ideology behind the quota system isn’t worth the economic pain it inevitably causes.  In the meantime, economists will remain baffled as to why married earn more than divorced men, and why both earn more than never married men.

—————————————–

Conclusions

The marriage premium is an important economic driver of American society. We have allowed people to fiddle with the controls to our society. They confidently do so using their ideology. They are like monkeys in the control room of a nuclear power plant, spinning dials and pushing buttons.

Rates of marriage are down, divorce is up — and both reduce the “marriage premium” produced by incentives for men to work harder, longer, at dangerous jobs. We can only guess at the long-term effects on society.  For a summary of our perilous situation see Marriage today – and its dystopian future.

More about the marriage premium

The ‘marriage premium’ and the economic impact it can have on children” by John C. Roach of the Bureau of Labor Statistics — “In conclusion, this study has shown that while differences may vary depending on the mother’s age, education, and income level, the outcome of children raised in a two-parent household throughout childhood into adulthood is brighter as compared with that of children raised by an unwed mother.”

The marriage premium and productivity: the case of NBA players” by Zeev Shtudiner in the International Journal of Economic Sciences, December 2015 — “A total marriage
premium of 16.4% was found in a comprehensive analysis of the performance of all league players … there is a higher marriage premium among international players compared to American players.”

About the author

Dalrock is a happily married man living with his sexy wife and two wonderful kids in the Dallas/Forth Worth area. He is very interested in how the post feminist world impacts himself and his family, and uses his blog to explore these kinds of issues.

For More Information

The cold equations:

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about women and gender issues, especially these about marriage…

  1. Men are abandoning the rat race, & changing American society. — See the data.
  2. Why men are avoiding work and marriage.
  3. Will young men break America’s family structure?
  4. Will today’s young men marry? America’s future depends which of these answers is right.
  5. Our society will be shaped by technology as porn and sexbots destroy 21st century marriage.
  6. For Father’s Day: revolutionary words that will forever change the American family.
  7. Classic films show what marriage was. Facts show its death.
  8. Cheap Sex is the Inconvenient Truth in the end of marriage.
  9. Child support payments create the new American family.
  10. Marriage today – and its dystopian future.
The Privileged Sex
Available at Amazon

An essential book showing how we got here

The Privileged Sex by Martin van Creveld.

Martin van Creveld is a professor emeritus of history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and one of the greatest historians of this generation. His book will shatter many of the illusions you have been taught about women in history. Summary by the publisher…

“Ever since Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique back in 1963, all of us have been told that women are discriminated against, oppressed, exploited, and abused by men. The barrage of accusations is intense, relentless, and seems to have neither beginning nor end. But are the charges true? Do women really have a worse time of it than men?

“This volume, one of the very few in any language, takes on these questions head on. Roaming far and wide, it examines many aspects of the problem as it has presented itself from the time of ancient Egypt right down to today’s most advanced Western societies. To anyone accustomed to the tsunami of feminist claims and complaints, the answers will come as a surprise.”

25 thoughts on “Marriage reforms are slowing the economy

  1. In California the rule of thumb is that the attorneys settle a divorce when they have consumed half the assets in fees. They are in a very good position to know all the assets and they manipulate the parties to continue litigation until half the assets are used up.

    Obviously, this does not apply to the very wealthy and the lower classes. So the average divorce with middling assets, up to ar0und 5 million, one sees a four way split. Each attorney gets about 1.25 million and the warring parties get about 1.25 each.

    Counting later litigation over children and custody – a money argument really since custody is tied to money (the judges’ joke, otherwise no one would want the kids) the money flow to the attorneys continues with later earnings.

    Later earnings are used to determine child support and its changes so there is a huge disincentive for a man to work hard after the divorce. The loss in assets in California among the most productive classes is essentially half, and it all goes into the legal industrial complex to include forensic accountants, psychologists, etc. etc. all billing 375 to 500 per hour. Middle to upper middle class people cannot afford to have children. The downside risk is too great.

    1. Felix,

      That is an interesting comment. Can you point to any supporting evidence?

      Lawyers.com says that the average divorce costs $18,000 in California (higher than the national average). That’s a stupendous number. That’s more than the total savings of the average household. Perhaps the number would look more rational using the median (instead of the mean), or showing the cost for various income classes.

      For a look at child custody arrangements, I recommend reading “Who Gets Custody Now? Dramatic Changes in Children’s Living Arrangements After Divorce” by Maria Cancia et al. in Demography, August 2014.

  2. Amusing (in a bittersweet way). I’m in my late 20s, finishing up my PhD in engineering from an elite school in the US, six figure jobs lined up, I also have enough money saved up and invested to buy a house flat out with no mortgage needed. Perfect provider if I do say so myself.

    But no girlfriend or wife. Grinding away in your late teens and 20s to get to where I am comes at a cost: maximum beta/provider value, minimum alpha/excitement value.

    The past year my productivity has plummeted as I’ve spend an inordinate amount of time getting into better shape, dressing better, learning game, going on (40+) dates. I’m getting laid…rationally I have to ask myself why be so incredibly productive when I can get sex doing more fun things.

    I feel fortunate. Two years ago (at the age of 26) if a girl came along and wanted to be in a relationship, I would’ve jumped at the opportunity. Now, at 28…Rollo’s SMV chart is making a lot more sense. I can’t speak for all men my age, because some are still getting married to women who went on the carousel in their early 20s. But I think women are starting to overplay their hand, waiting so long that guys like myself are waking up and realizing what a shit deal marriage is.

    Fabius, I’m curious to know what your opinions are about the UMC and highly successful immigrant groups. I’m an Indian-American and I can see marriage rates are still high (we also have an median income of $100K). That said, if guys like myself are starting to leave the rat race, is that a sign of times to come?

    As a comparison, my cousin got married when she was 22 in the late 1990s. I see Indian girls pushing back age of marriage more and more, it seems they’re at most a decade behind white people.

    1. Vyasa,

      Thank you for your interesting comment!

      (1) You mention one of the big but seldom-mentioned side-effects of women delaying marriage. It is easier for a girl to marry a young man: he’s easily overwhelmed by emotions and hormones amd he has less to compare a girl with. Most important, with age and experience he is more likely to coldly assess the risks and rewards of marriage as an institution.

      On the other hand, I would like to see research about the causes of the high divorce rates of early marriages. Guessing, the strong emotional bonding of couples in their late teens or early 20s should give them an advantage over marriages by two more cynical older people. My guess is that adverse social dynamics in our society overwhelm nature’s boost to early marriage.

      (2) “about the UMC and highly successful immigrant groups.”

      What is “UMC”?

      You touch upon the core irrationality of the US immigration debate: treating immigrants as a homogenous group. They are not. We can easily apply simple rules to allow in people most likely to help America. We can’t allow in everybody. America is a lifeboat. The cold fact is that “refugees” have the responsibility to fix their homelands.

    2. UMC – upper middle class.

      I think I remember you writing a post once about marriage rates dropping, but the effects are different for each segment of the US population. Not sure if you ever followed up on it and what you believe will happen with the upper middle class.

      My (perhaps naive) assumption is that the upper middle class lags behind the middle, but not by much – maybe a decade or so. I also get the impression they’ll get squeezed by the upcoming automation revolution, bringing their economic perspectives closer to what the middle class is today.

    3. Vysas,

      Yes, that is all very true.

      It would take a lot of digging to write about the effects of our social “reforms” on the various classes. From what I have seen, these changes have been made by people from the upper classes — and they have been the big beneficiaries. Their effects on the lower classes have been worse, varying from weak benefits to severe damage. Feminism is the obvious example.

      How social behaviors spread among classes is a complex subject. We’ve seen (oddly, imo) ghettoization — spread of tastes and behaviors from the bottom up. Worth some effort to explore this.

    4. Regarding the effect of the new model by class, as Larry noted this would take a great deal of work to really even approach. However, there is a tidbit on this in the book The Bell Curve*. As I recall, in the early stages of the divorce revolution divorce was still novel, and was primarily utilized by the right end of the IQ bell curve. Over time however this flipped, and now the higher a person’s IQ, the less likely they are to divorce. Interestingly, while Socio Economic Status (SES) is highly correlated with IQ, to the extend that they differ divorce rates rose with SES and (I think) education. I did a post on this once although I don’t have it at my fingertips.

      Another interesting data point is that women while women with college degrees have lower divorce rates, women with “some college” (went to college but did not get a bachelors) are a higher divorce risk than women with only a high school diploma. Also, first generation Hispanic immigrants have very low divorce rates, which causes an interesting blip around divorce rates for high school dropouts. However, second generation and later Hispanic immigrants have divorce rates similar to Black divorce rates.

      *I believe I once saw a study in the Netherlands which confirmed this same pattern.

    5. Here are some links with more information relating to my last comment:

      I provided some quotes from the Bell Curve on divorce rates by IQ, education, and SES:
      https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/let-them-become-elite/

      Data on “Some College” and divorce:
      https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/the-rational-response-to-high-divorce-rates/

      I shared some data on Hispanic divorce rates broken out by 1st vs later generations here:
      https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/america-is-destroying-the-hispanic-family/

      I think this is the study I was thinking of regarding the Netherlands and divorce by IQ:
      http://apps.eui.eu/Personal/Dronkers/English/echtscheidingintelleng.pdf

    6. Dalrock,

      Thank you for posting these links to data!

      Re: The Bell Curve.

      It was published in 1994. Most of the studies it cites are from the 1980s, if I recall correctly. The gender wars have evolved a lot since the late 1980s.

      But a class effect on divorce would fit the data on unmarried births. Upper class women advocate for grrl-power single mothers, but they are careful to have a ring on their finger when giving birth. Aristos expect the proles to act like animals — that’s a commonplace in history. They make excellent shock troops, in both real war and culture wars.

    7. Woman who slept with 18 guys shocked that no one wants to marry her.”

      Indian-American women are especially deluded if they think they can delay marriage. Once established in a decent-paying job, an Indian man goes home to India and chooses a virgin bride who’s been thoroughly vetted by his family. White men sometimes hook up with Indians but have little interest in marrying one. On top of that, she earns $100,000 a year at age 32 and wants a man who earns more!

  3. Dalrock- Excellent guest post. Two comments.

    1. Taxes further exasperate the marriage premium. A divorcee has to earn $1.4 to cover every $1 premium in either alimony or child support.

    2. Paradoxically, for those stuck in this trap, these premiums could encourage entrepreneurship. Go back to Glenn Reynolds’s anecdote. By moving away from a paycheck (Big Law) and creating his own corporation (LLC for contract work), he can generate wealth by minimizing earned income and reinvesting corporate profits back into his business. In turn, this would limit liabilities on future marriage premiums.

    Point Two is another way to exit the rat race, but it requires a degree of financial literacy (or a good accountant).

    -Mike

    1. Mike,

      “these premiums could encourage entrepreneurship.”

      Almost every measure of entrepreneurship is collapsing in America. The only exception is the “gig economy”, but that’s associated with declining average income and wealth plus decreased financial stability.

    2. Thanks Mike

      I don’t think the family courts would be stymied by self employed fathers. The judge “imputes” income on the father based on the Judge’s estimate of what the father really earns, and this is at the judges discretion. I’ve heard anecdotal cases where a father’s imputed income was increased because he was living with his parents rent free in order to be able to keep up with child support payments.

      I know from my own experience with mortgage lending decades ago that it is pretty straightforward to go through a self employed person’s tax returns and figure out what income stream is really available to them should they need it, vs what is taxable. I can’t imagine there isn’t a cottage industry of CPAs standing ready to do this kind of work for divorce attorneys.

    3. Dalrock nails it.

      Hiding income is possible for those on the bottom (in the cash economy) and on top (using skilled professionals, offshore accounts, etc). For those in between it is difficult and growing more so.

      The shift away from the cash economy has brought many small businesses back “on the grid.”

  4. The pink hat brigade may just see the wage gap (myth) disappear but it will come with consequences they wont enjoy. Like sharia law or giving birth in the middle ages.

    The presumption that men are obligated to pursue their maximal productivity is pervasive. Its meant to shame men into slavery but it is also an admittance that without men over-producing, the impact of all these lean-in strong independent women who are totally equal to men somehow aren’t picking up the slack.

    Our workforce nearly doubled with female participation but we are somehow failing. How can this be?

    So is the real problem that men are opting out or even just slowing down and thus economic whatever – or is it that women are beginning to taste male privilege, aka the reality that is the drudgery of cubefarm life, the reality that true independence means lonely responsibility, and that unwinding and/or inverting human nature is rather dehumanizing and often unsexy. IOW, female gina tingles at an all time low.

    The presumption also demonstrates just how duplicitous the messaging is toward men.

    When it comes to male responsibilities, our kulture loves tradition; when it comes to male rights, however, much like wealth redistribution in general, the flow is male to female, ie the ever growing list of supposed exclusively male rights that need to be granted to women. But the river flows only one direction. Progress means destroying tradition, so paradox ensue.

    Even the framing reveals this: [men] “Avoiding work and marriage.” Avoiding implies there is a responsibility of working that is unique to men (to produce a surplus and to marry) as opposed to the right of choice.

    Men are responding to the incentives (or lack of) and choosing accordingly.

    On the individual level the effect is that egalitarian marriage 3.0 still means men must seek to produce a surplus – even though our culture has beat into him the fact that his wife is his equal partner.

    He has been forced to abdicate all authority and any other benefits of over-producing – but accrued no rights by doing so.

    He knows, rightly so, that procuring a wife in this equality paradigm means the baseline of his productivity-status is marked-to-marked based on hers. Shes a manager? Hed better be a VP. Same goes for her; out and up, not down. Hypergamy fails to give way to progress.

    Meanwhile, she knows that down the line she can let off the gas. But hes married to that trajectory and the cost of pulling the ripcord is now exponential.

    On the societal level men must produce a surplus to shore up our social system even though that system is feverishly working to undermine his ability to do that very thing.

    His surplus is a public benefit (taxation), as is his wifes consumption based on his surplus (consumer economy), thier debt-assisted trajectory is predicated on his responsibility to overproduce (debt economy) and high cost of opting out once “in” (divorce industrial complex) assures that the breakup fees annuitize his obligations.

    The “economy” requires the un-pc, traditional (natural) reflection of sex roles and the interplay of attraction and mating to play out, but the economists aren’t allowed to plot this intersect because the kulture that employ the economists requires the laws of clownworld. The resulting contortions are amusing but reality is much less so.

    The bell curve is cratering. Men that can get to the right tail of sexual market value and hold that position into marriage (high SES) are ok (or so they think) as are men who are already ZFG “not marriage material” types who enjoy the spoils of the carousel years, the minimalist life, free time, and gibsmedat.

    But its the bulge in the middle (the tax livestock) that is getting gutted by both ends.

    Men are opting out of the rat race because the marginal increases in productivity comes at increasingly higher personal cost but with diminishing personal returns.

    Personally, i dont “avoid” either proposition, but i also choose to sell my time in a way that is optimal for me without regard for some obligation to the machine that hates me or some tradition that has been weaponized to enslave me.

    The fact that the sexual market dynamics extrapolate squarley into the economic “problem” playing out is awkward for the experts and social engineers. It cleanly projects the shape of an elephant in the room.

    Meanwhile the social psychologists and thier quanty friends the economists and the rest of the talking heads are all searching for some mouse. Something must be scaring the elephant, but at the same time the elephant cant possibly exist.

    1. As long as women were under strong pressure to marry men with the means to support families, stay virgins until the wedding night, and keep their husbands satisfied from then on, men had an incentive to over-produce. Now, be you Alpha Chad Thundercock, Beta Engineering Nerd, or Omega Incel Loser, the size of your paycheck has little effect on your ability to get laid, within or without marriage. So unless you’re an actor or professional athlete, forget about climbing the career ladder; hit the gym and practice your game instead.

  5. There is something very wrong about economic productivity being directly linked to male anxiety rising over both a wage- and debt-slavery existence.

    One might ask the question whether men are not paying a high enough price already for rather meager benefit.

    Seems rather stupid for men to agree to keep killing themselves at work in order to pay top, inflated, premium level prices for a crescendo of attitude, ingratitude, public ridicule, disrespect and sexlessness.

    What would happen if we stopped harboring so much open contempt for men and boys on such matters?
    Economic recession?

    1. Constrained Locus,

      “There is something very wrong about economic productivity being directly linked to male anxiety rising over both a wage- and debt-slavery existence.”

      That’s not the only way to look at that, and I doubt many men look at it that way during the 2 thousand years of history. Patriarchy had benefits and costs.

      “Economic recession?”

      Society doesn’t work like that because people do not (as we used to hope as freshmen) “think as one.” The loss of motivation is just one factor in the very complex dynamics of the gender war. We can only guess at how all this will play out.

  6. A visiting anthropologist from Alpha Centauri on a field trip sets his students an essay question: how would you account for the demand for, and rising popularity of, legally sanctioned gay marriage in cultures in which heterosexual marriage is in decline? And why does it happen fairly late in the decline process?

    1. Simon,

      I love that kind of analysis, forcing us to adopt a different perspective. I use “notes from the past” and “notes from the future” for the same purpose.

      As for that question, I have not a clue. Perhaps a reader can take a shot at answering it.

    2. @Simon:

      My personal hunch on the demand for homosexual marriage is that it is primarily because it was previously not satisfied. There is also the risk that you, the aspiring married homosexual, may be able to legally marry NOW, but perhaps not in four years, which might encourage couples to err on the side of solemnization. If that “perhaps not” recedes, you’d eventually reach a “natural” rate of homosexual marriage.

      This has a lot of interesting possibilities for examining marriage as an institution. How would the two populations (straight married vs. gay married) react to similar stressors? Life span outcomes? Life outcomes for adopted children/eventual grand-children? Financial success? Clearly the visiting Centauran should be applying for a research grant, not just writing an essay… They’ve got a whole career to build!

  7. Two other things that I have started to wonder, reading this thought provoking series. One is about whether the decline is also showing up in other Western countries, and whether it is to the same extent. Dunno, I will try to look for some data on Europe but not sure how easy it is to find.

    The second is what the decline in formal marriage really reflects on the ground — whether the decline in marriage is of a decline only in the act of formally putting on the ring, or a real change in how people are living, and if so, whether the two changes are of the same magnitude.

    Are quite a lot of people still living together in long term relationships, just not bothering to marry and formalize it? Or have men and women and families changed as much as the charts show for the institution of marriage, when you look at their living patterns?

    When you probe the data, for instance, are ‘single mothers’ really living alone, and is this happening at a rate that parallels the decline in marriage, or is there a man around, but just not one they are formally married to?

  8. As an example, do cohabiting fathers work harder and earn more than men living alone? Is the premium on being formally married, or is it in being a cohabiting father in a long term relationship? And how many of these are there?

  9. OK, more readily available data than expected. Not sure what it means, but the bottom line seems to be, yes, its happening in a lot of places, but not all. And where it is happening its not at the same rate as the US. And cohabitation seems to be taking the place of marriage to some extent, but this is not the whole story at all, there is a real change in how people are living. And its not uniform across all European countries.

    Pan European numbers and charts from 2013
    https://robertwhiston.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/46/

    BBC story on decline in the UK
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36783830

    Journalists account of EU
    https://www.alternet.org/economy/why-nobody-europe-gets-married-anymore

    The Guardian on the EU
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jul/25/marriage-young-europeans-austerity

    Two from British Office of National Statistics, one on marriage the other divorce
    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/marriagecohabitationandcivilpartnerships/bulletins/marriagesinenglandandwalesprovisional/2014

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/divorce/bulletins/divorcesinenglandandwales/2015

    BBC 2016 summary for the UK
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36783830

    And most wonderfully, a Telegraph article by someone who thinks Brexit is going to revive marriage in the UK. We shall see…
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/06/brexit-opportunity-reverse-tragic-decline-marriage-britain/

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