These synthetic husbands have an average income that is about 58% higher than the actual unmarried men that are currently available to unmarried women. They also are 30% more likely to be employed (90% vs. 70%) and 19% more likely to have a college degree (30% vs. 25%). Racial and ethnic minorities, especially Black women, face serious shortages of potential marital partners, as do low socioeconomic status and high socioeconomic status unmarried women, both at the national and subnational levels.
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Good Husbands in Short Supply
Interesting study that used data from the American Community Survey to investigate why women complain that there is a shortage of marriageable men. The investigators created "synthetic husbands" from an average of the actual husbands of women of any given age and ethnicity, then compared them to the single men such women might marry:
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In other news, the Pope is Catholic, and bears have been pooping in the woods.
Hmm, it seems to me that it has potential methodological problems: it's well known that married men start to earn more. This can have many explanations, but one is that married men start to work harder and marriage actually increases their salary. If that explanation is at least partially true, then comparing "married" to "unmarried" men will obviously show differences in salaries, but it would be misleading to claim that "unmarried men" would be bad husbands.
...but it's also more than possible that you're seeing selection bias: the men that women tend to want to marry are more responsible and competent, on average, so the trajectory after marriage would tend toward higher incomes.
Still kind of works out to the same bottom line: women don't want to marry men who look like they're going to be a financial burden. Duh.
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