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Brendan Saloner

I agree with your proposal, or at least, it seems like one important piece of the puzzle. This is a complicated topic. Just to mention some other important research from Gibson-Davis, Edin, and McLanahan (2005), who find that actually low-income unmarried couples are most typically strongly connected and intend to get married after the birth of an out of wedlock child. But, "We find that some of the difference between parents’ expectations and behavior may be because of the overstatement of intentions at the time of the birth. Most of the discrepancy, however, results from parents’ perceived social and economic barriers to marriage. Specifically, unmarried parents have a long list of financial and relationship prerequisites they believe must be met in order for them to wed."

How would you feel about a government program that provided couples with the resources to get married and the skills to navigate complex relationships? (this was a big piece of a marriage agenda under the last President, but has not been as embraced now)


Bill Gardner

As usual, you are better informed than I am!

Does marriage have a higher set of perceived financial pre-requisites than cohabitation? Anyway, would be great to have an RCT of a means-tested endowment for marriage.


I really like the nurses going out to young parents plan. High effect, low cost. Givewell.org is a charity ranking organization that deems this type of program one of the most high yield charities EVER: http://www.givewell.org/united-states/top-charities/nfp

I think the expansion of this program could easily be funded through the new mechanism of social impact bonds: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14663564

Sorry for just link-mongering...

Bill Gardner

I agree and am glad to see the links.

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