Saturday, February 18, 2012

Trends in marriage and fertility

Recently the the Times has reported on trends in marriage and fertility, probably partly in response to Charles Murray's recent book on the topic. They describe a lack of marriageable partners, declining male wages and rising female wages, behavioral challenges among less educated men, and unintended pregnancies that don't carry the same social stigma as in earlier times. Eligibility for means tested programs like food stamps is also mentioned. Wage stagnation for males is a legitimate explanation, pardon the pun. But it also occurred to me in my biased capacity as a New Yorker, adolescence seems to be becoming a lengthier part of the life cycle. Could that be producing more out of wedlock births? Or would younger women just prefer older men instead?