Male earnings and employability and marriage: a self-reinforcing downward spiral

by Ryan Streeter on September 7, 2014. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

I was reminded of the Autor-Wasserman “Wayward Sons” study (pdf) when Thomas Edsall referred to it in this column last week. There are some pretty interesting and sobering charts in the study, which I’ll put below with no commentary other than this snippet from the study:

Less-educated males are far less likely than highly-educated males to marry, but they are not less likely to have children. Due to their low marriage rates and low earnings capacity, children of less-educated males face comparatively low odds of living in economically secure households with two parents present. In general, children born into such households face poorer educational and earnings prospects over the long term. Ironically, males born into low-income single-parent headed households—which, in the vast majority of cases are female-headed households—appear to fare particularly poorly on numerous social and educational outcomes. Thus, the poor economic prospects of less-educated males may create differentially large disadvantages for their sons, potentially reinforcing the development of the gender gap in the next generation.

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