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Decline of Economic Growth: Human Capital and Population Change

 

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Executive Summary:

Decline of Economic Growth: Human Capital & Population Change

Henry Potrykus, Patrick Fagan

August 3, 2011

Overall GDP growth in the United States has been lagging for more than 50 years, a phenomenon known as the ‘growth slowdown.'[1] Human capital considerations, when they are tied to the demographics of the working population, explain this growth slowdown (Chart 1).  A slowdown in GDP growth from past levels, over the foregoing decades, has been driven by a human productivity slowdown, from nearly 3 percent per year in the 1970s to less than 2 percent in the 2000s (Chart 1).

General Overview

Chart 1 shows the ‘human’ contribution to GDP growth.[4],[5],[6] This contribution has two driving characteristics:

  • The overall demographic make-up of the working U.S. population;
  • The productivity contribution at various stages in life by that working population (see Chart 5).

This productivity contribution is quantified through the changes in the population’s human capital: the skills, capacities and know-how held by an individual.

Chart 2 depicts the reality of the slowdown in GDP growth, as given by Department of Commerce statistics.

Comparing Chart 1 to Chart 2 explains all of the growth slowdown of the last 40 years by tracking changes in the laboring population and its human capital `deposit.’  The contribution of physical capital (physical plant and machinery contributing to production) to GDP growth is slightly more than 1 percent per year over the period in question.[7]

We employ our method to project economic growth into the future.  As seen in Chart 1, the growth slowdown is projected to continue and become more serious during years 2010-2020, with consequences for the overall economic picture of the United States.[8]

Populations’ Effect on Growth

The slowdown of GDP growth is explained by the concentration of both population and human capital in the baby boom, which is now being replaced by lower human capital cohorts.  This study looks only at human capital, as quantified by standard wage curves, to predict that the U.S. economy will continue to sputter over the coming years.  This slowdown is amplified by the retiring of a generation with significant human capital (the baby boom) and its replacement by a generation inadequate in population size to continue the expected and required growth of the macroeconomy.[9]

Human Capital

Chart 3 shows the course of development human capital typically takes over the life course of workers.  There are four basic phases in workers’ lives.[10]  Prior to entry into the workforce there is a training or formative period.

Then, upon entry into the workforce there is a further accumulation of skills, competencies, and know-how (all human capital) as laborers gain in experience and income annually, up to their year of peak productivity (around 55 years of age).  Thereafter, in the post-prime phase, workers tend to coast-with little or no further investment in human capital-until they retire.  This phenomenon occurs during the coasting phase, and is followed by the last phase, retirement.

Human capital-marketable skills, capacities, and general or specific know-how-has a value that is quantified in the market exchange of work for wages.[11] Hence, the schedule of income rises and falls over the careers of a class of workers.

Chart 4 quantifies these levels of human capital for different levels of education.[12]

For purposes of illustration we might imagine an engineer who up to age 20 is being formed and so obtains skills, capacities and know-how that are valuable to his future profession.  After 20 years of such formation he begins to work, at first through paid internships, then as a full-time employee, all the while accruing human capital.  Until age 55 he continues to attend professional conferences, reads literature pertinent to the technology of his field and interacts with other engineers, all of which increases his deposit of human capital.

Moreover, he obtains many habits that help him function well as a practicing engineer.[13] Around the age of 55 he may realize that further investment of time and effort into his own human capital formation is not worthwhile and begin to coast, allowing his human capital to stagnate and depreciate until his retirement.

A similar trajectory applies to other jobs, professions, and categories of workers, Chart 4.

 

Population Phases of Human Capital

Chart 5 depicts the population totals for each age-year in 2010, showing what phase of human capital development each of these population segments currently falls into. As the working population ages over time, their human capital evolves as they progress through the labor phases first illustrated in Chart 3.

The baby boom generation is moving through peak productivity now and is transitioning into the coasting phase with concomitant human capital depreciation.  Moreover, as a cohort, it is beginning a rapid entry into the retirement phase of the life-cycle.

Our method quantifies the effects of these transitions in the model, illustrated in Chart 6.

Overview of the Model

In its most elementary form, for a given age-cohort-e.g. age 50 as singled out by the long horizontal line in Chart 6-the model multiplies the value of a cohort’s accumulated human capital by that working cohort’s population count.  The values across the age-cohorts are then totaled yielding the human contribution (labor plus human capital) to economic production. From this calculation of the human contribution to economic production we then compute annual changes in economic production, i.e. economic growth, as shown in Chart 7.

Completing the Model

Human capital is composed of two types: transferable and non-transferable.  Transferable human capital is the effect of knowledge transfer, i.e. what one person teaches or passes on to another, we recognize some human capital is passed forward to the newer generations of workers during their formative years, taught or otherwise conveyed, e.g. through schooling, apprenticeships or less formal mentoring or training.  Non-transferable human capital is gained and increased solely by the individual’s efforts which yield experience particular to him alone.

For various levels of the transfer of human capital during the formation phase, the younger generation is better or worse able to leverage the older generation’s know-how.  In the model simulation, this allows the younger generation to transition out of the formational period into employment with the same or fractionally less human capital currently found with their forefathers.  The results of different transfer levels are plotted as a band of growth contribution levels in Chart 1, shown again here in Chart 8.

Conclusions

This paper developed a simple model of human capital and population evolution so that the component parts contributing to economic growth are clearer, and demonstrated the importance of human capital to the macroeconomy.  Human capital and labor combined with physical capital each contribute roughly equal parts to growth.[14] Increasingly it has been hoped by many that physical capital may substitute for any decline in population’s and human capital’s contribution to growth.  However, this has not been attained historically.[15] Also, for the output of the other major institutions of society-family, education, government [crime], and health [longevity, addictions]-it is the development of the human person-which results in higher human capital-that is much to be preferred.  Thus, the historical balance of population growth, human capital development, and physical capital investment is the optimum national path to economic growth. Growing our human capital is critical to our future economic growth.


[1] Robert Barro and Xavier Sala-i-Martin. Economic Growth. Second Edition. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.

[2] James Heckman and Dimitriy Masterov. The Productivity  Argument for Investing in Young Children. Tech. Rep. WP 07-03-22c. University of Chicago, 2007.

[3] J. Delong, L. Katz, and C. Goldin. “Sustaining American Economic Growth.” In: Agenda for the Nation. Ed. By H. Aaron, J. Lindsay, and P. Nivola. 2003.

[4]The quick upturns and downturns in the graph are due to (large) changes in cohorts (population concentrations; cf. Chart 5) entering or leaving the workforce, a demographic reality the model captures.

[5] Even though the baby boom contributes generally to growth throughout their careers, their greatest effect is demographic. Upon their entry into the job market around the 1970s they contribute massively to economic growth even though their human capital is still developing.

[6] The band graphed in Chart 1 parameterizes different levels of learning that generations receive before entering the workforce.  See the “Model Overview'” section for further discussion.

[7] Barro and Sala-i-Martin, op. cit., This can be seen from a modifications of standard ‘growth accounting’ estimates.  The forthcoming technical expansion of this paper contains an elaboration on this point.

[8] See H. Potrykus, P. Fagan, & R. Schwarzwalder, “Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend, and Borrow Enough to Substitute for Marriage.” MARRI Research, June 2011. marri.frc.org/fiscal.

[9] This includes future support of the welfare state.

[10] Gary Becker. Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education. Third Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

[11] Ibid.

[12] The rate of increase of human capital while one the job is quantified by a roughly 1.2% increase in income for each year on the job, see Chart 4

[13] Flavio Cunha and James Heckman. “Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation.” In: Journal of Human Resources 43 (2006), pp. 738-782, These capacities and habits are often called non-cognitive skills.

[14] Barro and Sala-i-Martin, op. cit.

[15] Delong, Katz, and Goldin, op. cit., These authors advise against such a focus on physical capital investment.

Decline of Economic Growth: Human Capital & Population Change

Overall GDP growth in the United States has been lagging for more than 50 years, a phenomenon known as the ‘growth slowdown.'[1] Human capital considerations, when they are tied to the demographics of the working population, explain this growth slowdown (Chart 1). A slowdown in GDP growth from past levels, over the foregoing decades, has been driven by a human productivity slowdown, from nearly 3 percent per year in the 1970s to less than 2 percent in the 2000s

(Chart 1).

General Overview

Chart 1 shows the ‘human’ contribu-tion to GDP growth.[4],[5],[6] This contribution has two driving characteristics:

The overall demographic make-up of the working U.S. population;
The productivity contribution at various stages in life by that working population (see Chart 5).
This productivity contribution is quantified through the changes in the population’s human capital: the skills, capacities and know-how held by an individual.

Chart 2 depicts the reality of the slowdown in GDP growth, as given by Department of Commerce statistics.

Comparing Chart 1 to Chart 2 explains all of the growth slowdown of the last 40 years by tracking changes in the laboring population and its human capital `deposit.’ The contribution of physical capital (physical plant and machinery contributing to production) to GDP growth is slightly more than 1 percent per year over the period in question.[7]

We employ our method to project economic growth into the future. As seen in Chart 1, the growth slowdown is projected to continue and become more serious during years 2010-2020, with consequences for the overall economic picture of the United States.[8]

Populations’ Effect on Growth

The slowdown of GDP growth is explained by the concentration of both population and human capital in the baby boom, which is now being replaced by lower human capital cohorts. This study looks only at human capital, as quantified by standard wage curves, to predict that the U.S. economy will continue to sputter over the coming years. This slowdown is amplified by the retiring of a generation with significant human capital (the baby boom) and its replacement by a generation inadequate in population size to continue the expected and required growth of the macroeconomy.[9]

Human Capital

Chart 3 shows the course of development human capital typically takes over the life course of workers. There are four basic phases in workers’ lives.[10] Prior to entry into the workforce there is a training or formative period.

Then, upon entry into the workforce there is a further accumulation of skills, competencies, and know-how (all human capital) as laborers gain in experience and income annually, up to their year of peak productivity (around 55 years of age). Thereafter, in the post-prime phase, workers tend to coast-with little or no further investment in human capital-until they retire. This phenomenon occurs during the coasting phase, and is followed by the last phase, retirement.

Human capital-marketable skills, capacities, and general or specific know-how-has a value that is quantified in the market exchange of work for wages.[11] Hence, the schedule of income rises and falls over the careers of a class of workers.

Chart 4 quantifies these levels of human capital for different levels of education.[12]

For purposes of illustration we might imagine an engineer who up to age 20 is being formed and so obtains skills, capacities and know-how that are valuable to his future profession. After 20 years of such formation he begins to work, at first through paid internships, then as a full-time employee, all the while accruing human capital. Until age 55 he continues to attend professional conferences, reads literature pertinent to the technology of his field and interacts with other engineers, all of which increases his deposit of human capital.

Moreover, he obtains many habits that help him function well as a practicing engineer.[13] Around the age of 55 he may realize that further investment of time and effort into his own human capital formation is not worthwhile and begin to coast, allowing his human capital to stagnate and depreciate until his retirement.

A similar trajectory applies to other jobs, professions, and categories of workers, Chart 4.

Population Phases of Human Capital

Chart 5 depicts the population totals for each age-year in 2010, showing what phase of human capital development each of these population segments currently falls into. As the working population ages over time, their human capital evolves as they progress through the labor phases first illustrated in Chart 3.

The baby boom generation is moving through peak productivity now and is transitioning into the coasting phase with concomitant human capital depreciation. Moreover, as a cohort, it is beginning a rapid entry into the retirement phase of the life-cycle.

Our method quantifies the effects of these transitions in the model, illustrated in Chart 6.

Overview of the Model

In its most elementary form, for a given age-cohort-e.g. age 50 as singled out by the long horizontal line in Chart 6-the model multiplies the value of a cohort’s accumulated human capital by that working cohort’s population count. The values across the age-cohorts are then totaled yielding the human contribution (labor plus human capital) to economic production. From this calculation of the human contribution to economic production we then compute annual changes in economic production, i.e. economic growth, as shown in Chart 7.

Completing the Model

Human capital is composed of two types: transferable and non-transferable. Transferable human capital is the effect of knowledge transfer, i.e. what one person teaches or passes on to another, we recognize some human capital is passed forward to the newer generations of workers during their formative years, taught or otherwise conveyed, e.g. through schooling, apprenticeships or less formal mentoring or training. Non-transferable human capital is gained and increased solely by the individual’s efforts which yield experience particular to him alone.

For various levels of the transfer of human capital during the formation phase, the younger generation is better or worse able to leverage the older generation’s know-how. In the model simulation, this allows the younger generation to transition out of the formational period into employment with the same or fractionally less human capital currently found with their forefathers. The results of different transfer levels are plotted as a band of growth contribution levels in Chart 1, shown again here in Chart 8.

Conclusions

This paper developed a simple model of human capital and population evolution so that the component parts contributing to economic growth are clearer, and demonstrated the importance of human capital to the macroeconomy. Human capital and labor combined with physical capital each contribute roughly equal parts to growth.[14] Increasingly it has been hoped by many that physical capital may substitute for any decline in population’s and human capital’s contribution to growth. However, this has not been attained historically.[15] Also, for the output of the other major institutions of society-family, education, government [crime], and health [longevity, addictions]-it is the development of the human person-which results in higher human capital-that is much to be preferred. Thus, the historical balance of population growth, human capital development, and physical capital investment is the optimum national path to economic growth. Growing our human capital is critical to our future economic growth.

*Henry Potrykus, Ph.D., Senior Fellow; Patrick Fagan, Ph.D., Director. Correspondence may be

addressed to the first author at hgp@frc.org.

[1] Robert Barro and Xavier Sala-i-Martin. Economic Growth. Second Edition. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.

[2] James Heckman and Dimitriy Masterov. The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children. Tech. Rep. WP 07-03-22c. University of Chicago, 2007.

[3] J. Delong, L. Katz, and C. Goldin. “Sustaining American Economic Growth.” In: Agenda for the Nation. Ed. By H. Aaron, J. Lindsay, and P. Nivola. 2003.
[4]The quick upturns and downturns in the graph are due to (large) changes in cohorts (population concentrations; cf. Chart 5) entering or leaving the workforce, a demographic reality the model captures.

[5] Even though the baby boom contributes generally to growth throughout their careers, their greatest effect is demographic. Upon their entry into the job market around the 1970s they contribute massively to economic growth even though their human capital is still developing.

[6] The band graphed in Chart 1 parameterizes different levels of learning that generations receive before entering the workforce. See the “Model Overview'” section for further discussion.
[7] Barro and Sala-i-Martin, op. cit., This can be seen from a modifications of standard ‘growth accounting’ estimates. The forthcoming technical expansion of this paper contains an elaboration on this point. See marri.frc.org/human-capital/2.

[8] See H. Potrykus, P. Fagan, & R. Schwarzwalder, “Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend, and Borrow Enough to Substitute for Marriage.” MARRI Research, June 2011. marri.frc.org/fiscal.

[9] This includes future support of the welfare state.

[10] Gary Becker. Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education. Third Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

[11] Ibid.

[12] The rate of increase of human capital while one the job is quantified by a roughly 1.2% increase in income for each year on the job, see Chart 4

[13] Flavio Cunha and James Heckman. “Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation.” In: Journal of Human Resources 43 (2006), pp. 738-782, These capacities and habits are often called non-cognitive skills.

[14] Barro and Sala-i-Martin, op. cit.
[15] Delong, Katz, and Goldin, op. cit., These authors advise against such a focus on physical capital investment.

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Marriage, Human Capital, and Our Fiscal Crisis

economics, family, human capital, MARRI, marriage, Pat Fagan No comments

Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend and Borrow Enough to Substitute for Marriage shows that the slowdown in economic growth we’re currently experiencing, coupled with the increased numbers of people dependent on the government, makes closing the deficit impossible for President Obama or anyone else who uses the present welfare state as the economic model to be sustained.

The continual slowdown in America’s GDP growth is explained by the decrease in marriage and families that are focused on children. As a nation, we’re no longer concerned with investing in our future by investing in the next generation. Our newest paper (linked above) demonstrates how stable married families and national economic growth are related.

What’s more, Our Fiscal Crisis is the first in a series of papers documenting original MARRI research about the development of skills, competencies, and know-how [human capital] across generations, and the family’s role in forming that human capital. In these papers, we’ll show how important human capital is to our modern, knowledge-driven economy and how indispensable the stable, married family is to economic prosperity. Be on the lookout for the rest of the series (to be released soon)!

Economics

Research Papers

The State of the Black Family in America
By Pat Fagan and Christina Hadford
February 11, 2015

Family Intactness and Public Policy Outcomes by State
By Pat Fagan and Henry Potrykus
February 12, 2013

Causal Determination for Social Policy: Counterfactuals, Natural Experiments, Population Shifts
By Henry Potrykus
February 14, 2013

U.S. Social Policy Dependence on the Family Derived from the Index of Belonging
By Henry Potrykus and Pat Fagan
February 12, 2013

Index of Family Belonging and Rejection: State by State
By Pat Fagan
January 17, 2012

Decline of Economic Growth: Human Capital & Population Change
By Henry Potrykus and Pat Fagan
January 31, 2012

Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend, And Borrow Enough To Substitute For Marriage
By Henry Potrykus, Pat Fagan and Rob Schwarzwalder
January 31, 2012

164 Reasons to Marry
By Pat Fagan
January 31, 2012

The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces U.S. Economic Growth
By Henry Potrykus and Pat Fagan
March 8, 2012

Non-Marriage Reduces U.S. Labor Participation: The Abandonment of Marriage Puts America at Risk of a Depression
By Henry Potrykus and Pat Fagan
August 27, 2012

95 Social Science Reasons for Religious Worship and Practice
By Pat Fagan
October 17, 2012

Marriage and Economic Well-Being: The Economy of the Family Rises or Falls with Marriage
Patrick F. Fagan, Andrew J. Kidd, and Henry Potrykus
May 4, 2011

The Second Annual Index of Family Belonging and Rejection (2011)
By Pat Fagan
November 16, 2011

Mapping America Charts

Trendlines

Family and Social Trendlines 2014: The Behaviors of the American Family in the Five Major Institutions of Society
Patrick F. Fagan
June 2014

Marriage and Family

Research Papers

The Fifth Annual Index of Belonging and Rejection (2015)
By Pat Fagan and Christina Hadford
February 12, 2015

The State of the Black Family in America
By Pat Fagan and Christina Hadford
February 11, 2015

The Fourth Annual Index of Family Belonging & Rejection (2014)
By Pat Fagan
February 12, 2014

Family Intactness and Public Policy Outcomes by State
By Pat Fagan and Henry Potrykus
February 12, 2013

The Third Annual Index of Family Belonging & Rejection (2013)
By Pat Fagan and Nicholas Zill
February 12, 2013

U.S. Social Policy Dependence on the Family Derived from the Index of Belonging
By Henry Potrykus and Pat Fagan
February 12, 2013

TV Affects Behavior: Targeted Programming Undermines Families
By Henry Potrykus
July 17, 2013

The Effects of Divorce on Children
Patrick F. Fagan and Aaron Churchill
January 11, 2012

Index of Family Belonging and Rejection: State by State
By Pat Fagan
January 17, 2012

Family Intactness: Influence on Major State Social Policy Outcomes
By Anna Dorminey, Pat Fagan and Henry Potrykus
July 23, 2012

164 Reasons to Marry
By Pat Fagan
January 31, 2012

Decline of Economic Growth: Human Capital & Population Change
By Henry Potrykus and Pat Fagan
January 31, 2012

Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend, And Borrow Enough To Substitute For Marriage
By Henry Potrykus, Pat Fagan and Rob Schwarzwalder
January 31, 2012

The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces U.S. Economic Growth
By Henry Potrykus and Pat Fagan
March 8, 2012

Non-Marriage Reduces U.S. Labor Participation: The Abandonment of Marriage Puts America at Risk of a Depression
By Henry Potrykus and Pat Fagan
August 27, 2012

The Second Annual Index of Family Belonging and Rejection (2011)
By Pat Fagan
November 16, 2011

Marriage, Contraception & the Future of Western Peoples
By Henry Potrykus and Patrick Fagan
November 30, 2011

Index of Family Belonging and Rejection (2010)
By Pat Fagan
September 9, 2010

Adoption Works Well
By Pat Fagan
October 2010

Mapping America Charts

Marriage and Fidelity

Well-Being and Development

Crime and Delinquency

Substance Abuse

Pregnancy and Abortion

Education

Achievement

Attainment

Behavior

Sexual Behavior

Sexual Initiation

Number of Sexual Partners

Sexual Risks

Sexual Satisfaction

Trendlines

The State of the Family: Marital Status and Childbearing across Race, Ethnicity, and Education
By Pat Fagan
July 9, 2014

Family and Social Trendlines 2014: The Behaviors of the American Family in the Five Major Institutions of Society
Patrick F. Fagan
June 2014

Decomposition of the American Family
Henry Potrykus
February 2017

Demographics of Women Who Report Having an Abortion
By Pat Fagan
March 5, 2014

TV Affects Behavior

 

Click Here to Download TV Affects Behavior: Targeted Programming Undermines Families

 

TV Affects Behavior: Targeted Programming Undermines Families

Henry Potrykus

July 9, 2013

Core Finding

“Progressive” television programming undermines family formation, pro­motes divorce, and discourages marriage.1 It does this causally.

Description

This research overview describes a “natural experiment” showing the effect of television programming (a detrimental effect):2 Targeted programming significantly negatively affects whether a population forms intact, stable families.

Footnotes throughout describe how the declarative statements made are known to be fact. The overview concludes with discussion points.

The overview summarizes the empirical analysis by La Ferrera, Chong, and Duryea (in two parts).3,4 Their analysis concerns the arrival of television signal into different Brazilian communities (both rural and urban).

Events Analyzed

A massive state-controlled expansion (roll-out) of the Brazilian television network Rede Globo took place starting in the 1960s and continuing into the 1990s. The expansion saw the introduction of certain television programs, particularly so-called “novelas.” These “soap operas” depicted smaller, more autonomous family modalities.5

This roll-out occurred in a controlled, pseudo-random fashion: Different Brazilian census areas, so-called Minimally Comparable Areas, received programming signal at different dates.

Looking at this pseudo-random pattern, 1) the date of introduction of novelas can be tracked, 2) subsequent change (if any) in fertility, marriage, and divorce patterns can be measured, and 3) this change (lower fertility, more divorce) can be attributed causally to the roll-out of the programming itself.6

The findings of this statistical compilation activity follow.

Empirical Findings

  • TV does significantly affect behavior, negatively.7 Detrimental programming is not simply watched by those who would have engaged in negative behaviors anyway:

– The Rede Globo roll-out did not target groups especially likely to enjoy novelas. (Those orchestrating the roll-out did not seek groups with an a priori penchant for smaller families or autonomous living standards which involve divorce and marital infidelity.)8

  • “Progressive” television undermines family formation, promotes divorce, and discourages marriage. It does this causally.9

TV undermines a nation’s economy, national entitlement systems (pensions), and the employability of a nation’s men.10

TV works against the stated policy goals and interests of national governments, empirically.

  • Culture and where it originates matter, quantitatively. Some culture has massive negative effects on society.

Negative behaviors adopted by man undermine society – economically and fiscally. This undermining of society is quantitatively verifiable and empirically deduced.11

A usual objection, that ‘values’ are only the concern of some special interest group, is false. The decline of families across the Minimum Comparable Areas shows values determine behavior:

Mothers received a transmission and began behaving according the suggestions of the transmission.

 


1 Footnote 5 and the sentence it modifies describe the programming.

2 See Henry Potrykus, Causal Determination for Social Policy, available at marri.us/causality, techreport (MARRI, 2013), for an elaboration on what is meant here by cause and effect and how these are determined for public policy actions.

3 Eliana La Ferrara, Alberto Chong, and Suzanne Duryea, “Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil,” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 4, no. 4 (2012): 1-31.

4 Alberto Chong and Eliana La Ferrara, Television and Divorce: Evidence from Brazilian Novelas, techreport (Inter-American Development Bank, 2009).

5 La Ferrera et al. undertake a statistical analysis of the types of women depicted in the novelas, and their behaviors (e.g. infidelity).

6 Footnote 8 describes how these roll-outs are pseudo-random. The roll-out thus is a natural experiment which allows causality to be inferred: See the reference of Footnote 2.

7 The effect is seen with precision, above other, “random” changes in the family formation behavior seen in the Minimal Comparable Areas.

8 By looking at the groups about to receive programming one year before they receive signal, La Ferrera et al. show that there is no identifiable tendency for the groups towards lower fertility. This is a placebo test on the population of interest. Additionally, La Ferrera et al. test empirically whether those deciding this roll-out may have looked for certain socio-economic factors in area populations before deciding whether a population was to be next to receive programming signal. These factors might correlate both with viewing preference and family preference. This empirical test comes up negative.

9 Regarding divorce, on an Area-and year-weighted basis, the effect of TV is to increase the level of divorce by something approaching 10 percent. In a country of a few hundred million this creates millions of broken families.

10 The proof of this is immediate because young intact enduring marriage grants benefits to society through all these paths. For readable expositions of these facts, see:

Henry Potrykus and Patrick Fagan, Decline in Economic Growth: Human Capital & Population Change, available at marri.us/human-capital, techreport (MARRI, 2011);

Henry Potrykus and Patrick Fagan, The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces

U.S. Economic Growth, available at marri.us/productivity-divorce, techreport (MARRI, 2012);

Henry Potrykus and Patrick Fagan, Non-Marriage Reduces U.S. Labor Participation: The Abandonment of Marriage Puts America at Risk of a Depression, available at marri.us/labor-slump, techreport (MARRI, 2012);

And see the forthcoming paper on entitlements: http://marri.us/entitlements/. 11See Footnote 10.

164 Reasons to Marry

 

Click Here to download the FULL REPORT: 164 Reasons to Marry

 

Executive Summary:

164 Reasons to Marry

Pat Fagan, Anne Dougherty, and Miriam McElvain

February 8, 2012

Marriage is the foundational relationship for all of society. All other relationships in society stem from the father-mother relationship, and these other relationships thrive most if that father-mother relationship is simultaneously a close and a closed husband-wife relationship. Good marriages are the bedrock of strong societies, for they are the foundations of strong families. One can see this strength manifested at the national and state level, as indicated in other works of the authors, such as the Index of Family Belonging and Rejection and its relationship to various outcomes.[1]

The future of the human race and all its component societies is embodied in each newborn. Whether that newborn grows to be a strong, capable adult depends much on the marriage of his parents. Whether he is physically strong; whether she is intelligent; whether he is hardworking or a dropout; whether she will be mentally healthy and happy; whether he will be more educated; whether she will marry in her own turn; whether he will be a taxpayer or a drain on the commons; whether she enjoys her own sexuality to the full; whether he worships and prays; whether she has children and how many; whether he finishes high school and goes to college or learns a trade; whether she is law-abiding; whether he grows old with a family surrounding him-all these most desirable outcomes (common goods) are strongly connected to the strength of the marriage of that child’s parents.

The findings herein demonstrate that in marriage are contained all the five basic institutions, all the basic tasks, of society: family, church, school, marketplace and government. These fundamental tasks, well done, in unity between father and mother, make for a very good marriage. Within a family built on such a marriage, the child gradually learns to value and perform these five fundamental tasks of every competent adult and of every functional society. Gradually he is mentored in them, often unconsciously. Gradually she learns that she is expected to act similarly. Eventually, he and she become more and more expert in performing all five tasks. In other words, they gradually grow in competence and are ready to strike out into society and, eventually, to build their own family. How they do that will depend much on what they experienced in growing up in their families of origin.

With fewer than half our children now reaching the end of childhood in an intact married family,[2]it will be good for all adolescents to learn again and again that an intact married life is a great good to aim for. If they are clear on the goal, they may be motivated to reach it. Just as the children who grew up in the Great Depression became the wealthiest generation in history, maybe we can hope that the children who experienced so much rejection between their parents will become the greatest generation of parents who belong to each other in lifelong marriage.

The future strength of our nation depends on good marriages to yield strong revenues, good health, low crime, high education, and high human capital. As the following enumeration shows, smart parents and smart societies pay attention to the state and strength of marriage.

 


[1] See Patrick F. Fagan and Nicholas Zill, “The Second Annual Index of Family Belonging and Rejection,” (Washington, D.C.: Marriage and Religion Research Institute, 2011). Available at http://marri.frc.org/index-2011.

[2] See Patrick F. Fagan and Nicholas Zill, “The Second Annual Index of Family Belonging and Rejection,” (Washington, D.C.: Marriage and Religion Research Institute, 2011). Available at http://marri.frc.org/index-2011.

95 Social Science Reasons for Religious Worship and Practice

 

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Executive Summary:

95 Social Science Reasons for Religious Worship and Practice

Pat Fagan

October 16, 2012

A century ago, non-believers could push religion aside as an irritating superstition that had to be endured because the majority and the Founder Fathers held to it. To ignore religion today, atheists would also have to throw reason and science aside as well, because developments in sociology, psychology and economics make religion’s abundant benefits clear to all who investigate it.

U.S. federal data repeatedly make clear that the practice of religion is a great public and private good. Given its myriad benefits, it is clear religious practice indirectly but powerfully saves the taxpayer much and also adds to public revenues.

Reasonable atheists and agnostics will voice, not opposition to religious practice, but public gratitude for the good it does. Worship’s benefits flow over to all the other major institutions of the nation: the family, education, the marketplace and income, and government. Worship’s rewards are visible, for example, in education and human capital development, sexual behavior, relational strength, psychological and physical well-being, and in a significant decrease in a variety of social ills.

Presently there is much discussion of religious liberty and its centrality to the American way of life. The data contained in this paper should reinforce the confidence of every believer and instill respect for religion in those who do not believe, for faith is a major enabler of our constitutional system of self-government.

The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces U.S. Economic Growth

 

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Executive Summary:

The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces U.S. Economic Growth

Divorce Removes a Fourth of Head-of-Household Productivity Growth

Henry Potrykus, Patrick Fagan

Divorce, now acculturated, constantly inhibits U.S. economic growth.

  • Human capital is one of three major contributors to the growth of the U.S. economy.
  • Marriage lends between one third to one quarter of the human capital contribution for adult men to economic growth.
  • The “Divorce Revolution” (1960s-1970s) tripled the rate of divorce in the United States thus imprinting, in a natural experiment, the effects of divorce on the economy.
  • Through divorce men become less productive.
  • Divorce causes this drop in productivity, thus contracting economic growth.

Family Intactness: Influence on Major State Social Policy Outcomes

 

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Executive Summary:

Family Intactness: Influence on Major State Social Policy Outcomes

With State by State Comparisons

Patrick Fagan, Ph.D., Henry Potrykus, Ph.D., Anna Dorminey

Family brokenness is now common across the United States. Only 46 percent of American children reach the age of 17 with both their parents married to one another.1 The implications for America of the weakness of the American family are myriad and profound, as we demonstrate across states below.

Intact married families produce positive outcomes for individuals, for children, and for the states, across all five of the main tasks or institutions of society (family,2 church, school, marketplace, and government).3 Strong, intact marriages are superior in producing educational success4 and in ensuring the formation of human capital5 and are therefore essential to the economic strength of both the family and the state.6

In this publication, we show how family intactness is a greater determinant of a state’s well-being than other explanatory variables (the percentage of a state’s population that had completed high school, a state’s population density, or its racial composition). See the Appendix: The other explanatory variables do not have clear, consistent positive or negative impact on the state outcomes. That is, they contribute more “noise” than “signal” (relevance) to the outcomes when compared with family intactness (intact marriage).


1 Patrick F. Fagan and Nicholas Zill, “The Second Annual Index of Family Belonging and Rejection,” (2011) http://www.marri.us/index-2011.

2 Henry Potrykus and Patrick F. Fagan, “Marriage, Contraception and The Future of Western Peoples,” (2011) http://www.marri.us/demographics.

3 Patrick F. Fagan, Anne Dougherty, and Miriam McElvain, “162 Reasons to Marry,” (2012) http://marri.us/reasons-to-marry. See also the Marriage and Religion Research Institute’s series “Mapping America,” http://marri.us/publications/mapping-america.

4 Patrick F. Fagan, Leonie Ten Have, and Wendy Chen, “Marriage, Family Structure, and Children’s Educational Attainment,” (2011) http://marri.us/marriage-structureeducation.

5 Henry Potrykus and Patrick F. Fagan, “The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces U.S. Economic Growth: Divorce Removes a Fourth of Head-of-Household Productivity Growth,” (2012) http://marri.us/productivity-divorce.

6 Henry Potrykus and Patrick F. Fagan, “Decline of Economic Growth: Human Capital and Population Change,” (2011) http://www.marri.us/human-capital. Also Henry Potrykus, Patrick F. Fagan, and Robert Schwarzwalder, “Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend, and Borrow Enough to Substitute for Marriage,” (2011) http://marri.us/fiscal.