Thursday, December 11, 2014

Men Not At Work

The NYT reports on men who aren't working, and one angle they left out is what prospective wives or partners perceive about the gains to marriage. Much is written about the opportunity costs of working, namely the foregone disability benefits and child care, and the article notes how relatively few men who aren't employed have young kids. AEI scholars have claimed that men's retreat from marriage and fatherhood can explain more than a third of the decline in employment since 1979. An accounting exercise like that is helpful, but it raises the question of why choices have trended the way they have, and I suspect women's choices are important.