[VIDEO] The economic consequences of changing family structure

Values & Capitalism, an initiative of the American Enterprise Institute, has released a new book discussing the economic consequences of breakdown in family structure in the United States:

Since the 1950s, divorces and out-of-wedlock births in America have risen dramatically. This has significantly affected the economic well-being of the country’s most vulnerable populations. In “Home Economics: The Consequences of Changing Family Structure, Nick Schulz argues that serious consideration of the consequences of changing family structure is sorely missing from conversations about American economic policy and politics. Apprehending a complete picture of this country’s economic condition will be impossible if poverty, income inequality, wealth disparities, and unemployment alone are taken into consideration, claims Schulz.

Click here to purchase the book, or watch the video below.

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter, available in PDF download:

This project was born out of frustration.

For several years I have been researching and writing about economics and economic policy. In 2010, I copublished a popular book on modern economic growth and the important role that institutions—laws, norms, culture, entrepreneurship, and so on—play in successful economies and material abundance.

I have also edited thousands of articles on economic topics over the years and have had even more conversations with policymakers, politicians, business leaders, and intellectuals about economics— everything from income inequality to trade to tax policy to immigration and beyond.

Over time it became increasingly clear that something important was often missing from the broader public discussion of economics and economic outcomes: the effects of enormous changes to the structure of American family life over the last half century. In particular, what’s missing from discussions of economic policy and politics is serious consideration of the economic consequences of changing family structure, particularly the increasing frequency of out-of-wedlock birth.

I come to this project as someone who writes primarily about economics and not primarily about social and cultural issues, but I also have found it impossible to write about economic topics without reference to some dramatic social shifts.