Why encourage college but not marriage?

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  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    April 11, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    The article makes a provocative point.

    So then we must ask, why deny same sex couples these economic benefits of marriage?

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    April 10, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    To answer the question posed in the headline:

    Because nobody in the history or mankind has ever said "I'm really sorry I rushed into college so soon. Neither of us were ready for that kind of commitment. If I had it do over again, I would've gotten married right out of high school and starting crankin' out kids."

    That said, I will enourage my kids to get married whenever they really feel it is time, while emphasizing that there IS NO "CORRECT" AGE at which to marry. I don't think it's possible to dispute that in LDS culture the pressure to get married mounts as you move towards 30 . . or even 25. It may work out, it may not, but "looking" for a spouse because, well, it's time, is a really, really bad idea.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    April 10, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    There are all kinds of studies that conclude that marriage is a much more healthy and beneficial state than non marriage for both men and women. Finances are just one example. This is based on both scientific research and thousands of years of experience. Only messed up social agendas and propoganda in this day and age lead some to believe otherwise.

  • Logit ,
    April 10, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    This article and talk of the so-called "marriage premium" seems to have the causal relationship backwards. It talks as if marriage (like college) is a causal determinant of success at work. It talks as if marriage is something government ought to encourage in order to improve productivity.

    The fact is, women tend to marry men who are good providers (or potentially so). When choosing a marriage partner, women sniff-out many of the same things an employer looks for--hard worker, ambitious, stable, etc. ...And, likewise, men who are hard working ambitious, and stable, also tend to want to start families and get married. That's 80% of the so-called marriage premium right there. And that's not a direct causal relationship.

    That said, there's some truth that, once married with children, such men do go on to earn slightly more at work than their unmarried counterparts. But in contrast to this article's first paragraph, this effect is nowhere near the effect of going to college. Hence, our culture encourages college.

    See Loh (1996), "Productivity differences and the marriage wage premium for white males" in Journal of Human Resources for a nice summary.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    [ "the marriage premium (for men) and marriage penalty (for women) persists after controlling for age, education, race, and a long list of other confounding variables."]

    So it seems like marriage may be beneficial for men, but not for women, but college is beneficial for everybody. Seems a good enough reason to encourage college, but not marriage.

    But this isn't just earning power, from what I've read married men live long than unmarried, but unmarried women live longer than married.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    April 10, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Quite simply, the reason all these "enlightened" economists encourage college but not marriage is because of a shift in priorities in our society. It used to be that having a strong family was the priority, and money was one thing you needed to support that, and once you had enough money to make your family work there was no need to make more money. And you know what? People had little but they were happy.

    Now we are about making money first so we can be made happy by more stuff. Family just gets in the way of making money because they cost more money than they produce. So people reject family so they can accumulate money/stuff...the problem is when they are young they work so many hours (in order to make more money) that they can't ever enjoy their stuff. By the time they retire so they can enjoy their stuff, they realize that stuff doesn't make them happy. So now people have everything but they are unhappy. Then they write regret-filled books about how they wasted their lives.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 10, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    These article are just getting embarrassing for the Dnews. There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting an education before marriage from the age of 18 to 25 or so. Humans are much better off being educated, that cannot be debated. Too many kids marry young and forgo an education only to have the rest of their lives unsettled due to lack of opportunity that education would have given them.
    Use a little objectivity in these articles.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    None of the academic sources in the article have apparent LDS church affiliation. And yes, the LDS church advocates marriage, but they didn't invent it. A recent list of marriage-friendly universities includes West Point ranked in first place, Brigham Young University at second, Harvard University at fourth and Yale at eight. Hutterite (Hutterites do not marry.) must think the LDS church has infiltrated all of the above universities.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    April 10, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    UtahBlueDevil: But you could say the same thing about college. Is it the stuff you actually learn in college that brings higher wages going forward, or is it just that the kind of person who goes to college and studies hard enough to graduate is the same kind of person who will be successful in other endeavors?

    The relationship between marriage and success may be causal or just correlated, but so is the relationship between college and success.

    The author's point is about why college is encouraged and supported by the government and by the 'elite' while marriage is completely ignored as a possible success factor. Bias against traditional values seems to be the answer.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 10, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    Because college is a good precursor to marriage, and marriage is just a drum the DN is banging for the church.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 10, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    Is it marriage causes a man to be able to earn more money...... or is it that the type of a man that can commit to marriage is also of the same persona that will commit to other tasks and endeavors.

    So ofter I think we look at correlations like this, searching for causal factors, in reverse. Ability to commit and stay focused on task - marriage or a job - is a leading indicator of success. Its not to say innovators can't or are not successful... they indeed are. And many of the super successful are indeed very poor with commitment to marriage.

    But, looking at "normal" distributions...... commitment and lack of commitment fit very nicely with predictive behavior.