Sunday, April 22, 2007


Marriage Column Worth Reading in the NYT

Tyler Cohen, a professor of economics at George Mason University and blogger at Marginal Revolution, has an interesting read that was (shockingly) carried in April 19th's New York Times. The column deals with how economics relates to marriage, with divorce being a major factor in marriage's financial success and the financial ruin of divorcees.

This is no conservative read, mind you. For instance, Cohen states early on that:

"The evidence suggests that married people — especially married men — are better off than the unmarried. But this doesn’t mean that everyone should marry, or that no one should divorce. Sometimes a marriage no longer makes sense, or it didn’t make sense in the first place."

Certainly not out of the Ed Wheat or James Dobson playbook, for sure.

Nonetheless, there are some interesting nuggets in this column, such as:

"In fact, the divorce rate for married couples peaked in the United States in 1979, when it was 22.8 per thousand married couples per year. Since then it has continued to decline, reaching 16.7 divorces per thousand married couples in 2005."

And this little gem:

"Often, earlier approaches to marriage were based on the idea of a division of labor; the man would earn the income and the woman would take care of the household. But as female earning power increases, this arrangement makes less sense. Men and women are more likely to pair off on the basis of similar education, similar interests and similar tastes in consumption. In other words, modern marriage is more fun."

More fun, huh?

Well, I guess that leads to my next post...


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