The results confirm the hypothesis. The researchers uncover a hot mess of consequences in the aggregate and in local areas that have experienced adverse shocks in manufacturing employment over the past few decades, including...
- a decline in male and female employment
- a decline in men's relative earnings, especially among lower-income men
- an increase in men's mortality from risky and unhealthful behaviors
- a reduction in the availability of marriage-age males in affected labor markets
- a reduction in the percentage of young adults getting married
- a decline in fertility
- an increase in the percentage of births to teen and unmarried mothers
- an increase in the percentage of children living in poverty
Bottom line: "We conclude that the declining employment and earnings opportunities faced by young (i.e. under 40) U.S. males are a plausible contributor to the changing structure of marriage and childbirth in the United States."
Source: National Bureau of Economic Research, When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men, Working Paper 23173 ($5)