Economists Make Case for Marriage Boom Under Trump


Will the Trump Effect include a wedding boom?

A rebound in U.S. manufacturing – something championed by President Donald Trump since the campaign – may have as additional result: more people getting married.

A pairing of seemingly unrelated statistics is what suggests the idea of, well, more pairings among Americans.

Brookings Institute figures show the U-S economy has lost about 7 million manufacturing jobs since 1980. The number of marriageable American men has fallen and a correlating rate in that same time.

The parallel between job losses and less-than-eligible bachelors is outlined by National Bureau of Economic Research paper by economists David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Manufacturing communities have been hit by “adverse shocks” – the researchers’ term – stemming from trade competition by China and other world economies. This has created a “chain running from adverse shocks to male earnings capacity to declining marriage prevalence among young adults, a rising fraction of births accruing to teenage and unmarried mothers, and an increasing share of children living in single-headed and impoverished households,” the report states.

The NBER paper notes that factory closings often force men in such jobs to leave the area or enlist in the military – or end up in jail, lose their homes, or turn to drugs and alcohol. That limits the number of eligible bachelors for women to marry – causing a drop in marriage rates, the report states.

Trump has vowed tax cuts and deregulation to save or create manufacturing jobs.

One in five adults over age 25 have never married, according to the Pew Research Center. In 1960, the statistic was a much-lower one in 10.

Getting married boosts the economic viability of a couple, according to a 2014 study by Robert Lerman and Bradford Wilcox.

“We estimate that the growth in median income of families with children would be 44 percent higher if the United States enjoyed 1980 levels of married parenthood today,” the study found.

Fox News reports that higher marriage rates are also linked to more economic success and less violent crime at the state level, according to research by Joseph Price, Robert Lerman and Bradford Wilcox. The 2015 report documents a positive correlation between marriage and economic growth and mobility, while concluding marriage also decreases the risk of children growing up in poverty.


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