Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I just don't need you any more 

Someone comes to the obvious: if marriage is viewed as an institution for joint provision of household services and childrenfreedom and prosperity and technological change reduce the demand for marriage.

This even includes a good point that might go less noticed:
Finally, economic growth raises people's aspirations - it encourages the belief that you can have more, "because you're worth it." This in turn creates dissatisfaction, with the result that a wife with a mediocre spouse is less likely to stand by her man*.
I'd put this a different way: If economic freedom has led to increased inequality, it also means that the potential return to search for a new spouse has increased (you can compete to make contracts with more affluent partners than before.) Since the return to search is greater, marriage is likely to be delayed.

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