lunes, 26 de octubre de 2015

Marriage and family patterns are important factors in states’ economic performance.

How strong families help create prosperous states


Economics has its roots in the Greek word oikonomia, which means the “management of the household.” Yet economists across the ideological spectrum have paid little attention to the links between household family structure and the macroeconomic outcomes of nations, states, and societies. This is a major oversight because, as a new report from the Institute for Family Studies and the American Enterprise Institute shows, marriage and family patterns are important factors in states’ economic performance.

The report, Strong Families, Prosperous States: Do Healthy Families Affect the Wealth of States?, was authored by W. Bradford Wilcox, Joseph Price, and Robert I. Lerman. In it they show that higher levels of marriage, and especially higher levels of married-parent families, are strongly associated with more economic growth, more economic mobility, less child poverty, and higher median family income at the state level in the United States.

In fact, in a comparison between the 10 states where parents of children under 18 are most likely to be married and the 10 states where parents are least likely to be married, Wilcox and colleagues discovered that being in the top quintile is associated with a $1,451 boost in per capita GDP, 10.5 percent greater upward income mobility for children from lower-income families, a 13.2 percent decline in the child poverty rate, and a $3,654 higher median family income. These estimates are based on models that control for a range of factors—from states’ demographic characteristics to its tax policies and spending on education—that might otherwise confound the family-economy link at the state level. The figure below illustrates the relationship, for instance, between child poverty and the strength of family life in 30 states across the U.S.


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