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July 18, 2007

Marriage and money

When it comes to earning money, being married confers statistical advantages. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains.

"Married couples, first of all, earn more than single people, even married couples where only one spouse works," explains Dr. Walden, a professor of agricultural and resource economics. "Now this may have something to do with specialization, where if you have a married couple one spouse could maybe specialize and really focus on making money while the other handles the household chores and duties.

"Or it may have to do with motivation. But clearly there is a money premium to being married," he adds.

"By extension statistics show that divorce often has an adverse impact on money. That is, divorced households have less financial resources available than married households," Walden says. "And on this point, economists noticed there is a major difference in the divorce rate based on income. That is, lower-income households tend to have a much higher rate of divorce than higher-income households.

"This fact," Walden concludes, "is contributing to income inequality in the nation."

Posted by deeshore at July 18, 2007 07:35 AM