Charles Edison

"Economics, politics, and personalities are often inseparable." - Charles Edison

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Finding Value in Higher Education & Marriage

An interesting article on the premiums earned for post-grads and married men highlighted how economists are encouraging men to pursue a degree to increase their income versus their zipped lips on the bonuses that come with marriage and a comparable premium return. Mr. Caplan proceeds to list several possible, semi-thought out reasons possibly explaining how this could possibly happen, using the "you could think" starter to hide behind the fact that his reasons are mediocre. Still, to give Caplan some credibility, he at least takes the time to present counterarguments to the arguments he himself developed. They range from a man's distaste for marriage to the lack of freedom that comes with eternal union.

I am uncertain if there is a positive correlation between marriage and age, yet there is most likely a positive relationship between salary and age. Employers desire experience, and seniority in the workplace more likely than not secures the employee higher wages. That's not to say, however, that all elderly job-seekers are guaranteed work. Caplan brought to light an interesting "discrepancy" that may be explained by means other than economists have established a "double standard." For one thing, there may be a large proportion of single, white males that believe marriage would lead to children. The thought of having kids intimidates the college-grads or high income hopefuls from settling down until they themselves have a steady/larger salary. From another perspective, being married with kids could act as motivation for the male to work harder and secure a better job to provide for his family. A wife may act the same way.

While the statistics lead one to believe that marriage may lead to a higher premium, speculation of divorce, along with alimony, is certainly not encouraging. Also, marriages may be a direct result of a man's income. There is a higher correlation of marriages for men with higher incomes than those who merely "get by." The 44% premium with marriages may be an after-effect to an up-and-coming mate's promotion or line of work.

These points are all speculation, however.


Smith said...

I am interested to get your thoughts about D.I.N.K.s. Double Income No Kids.

Alex D. said...

Households with two incomes and no children are usually fantastic consumers. Many markets focus solely on attracting the DINKS to their product. They tend to vacation often, enjoy the fruits of their labors, and tend to have a financially secure future. However, these characteristics are not applicable to all DINKS. There are a massive proportion of double income households who hold off on rearing children until they are financially stable. Another relative demographic includes much poorer, or even poverty-stricken, couples that simply rely on one another’s income to maintain the standard of living they are accustomed to… or even, in some conditions, for simple survival.

My parents were DINKS for several years before I was born, which spurred my father to work even harder to support his new nuclear family. My mother focused more heavily on being a “mom” rather than her career, which shines an interesting light on the whole DINK situation. Not to run off on a tangent here, but this is where many statistics are developed and analyzed that may mislead the public to believe women do not earn equal wages to men. The time women take off to have children deals a heavy blow to the once high salary earning couple. Usually this results in one of the parents to devout more time to work to put the metaphorical bread on the table.

Basically, watch this video, tell me what you think, and answer me this: should you and Jen ever decide to have children, will your 8-5 careers as educators be affected by your son/daughter’s needs?

Alex D. said...

The video did not attach to the hyperlink. Here's the link to copy/paste:

Thanks for your time.