Thanks for thatJuly 7, 2010 Tim WorstallWonk Watch3 CommentsMarriage does not make relationships stable, says IFS think tank Yes, we have seen the divorce statistics. previousNew Leningrad Cowboys MovienextFive years ago today 3 thoughts on “Thanks for that” Serf July 7, 2010 at 11:49 am …..It also claimed that it would cost £24billion a year to eradicate the “couple penalty” in the benefits system that leaves parents worse off if they live together……… It would cost whom? It certainly wouldn’t cost married couples anything. Whilst I can see the logic that suggests that the correlation is from stability to marriage, I still can’t see why we should be subsidising one parent families, or cohabitees over married couples. SadButMadLad July 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm Then you find reports arguing the contrary. Such as the one highlighted here – http://www.thewelfarestatewerein.com/archives/2010/07/the_welfare_sta_5.php “that positive events in people’s lives such as getting married or finding long-term employment can act as a ‘turning point’, allowing an individual to have access to a different life.” To be able to turn away from a life of crime and have a stable life it seems that marriage helps. So is marriage stable or not. john b July 8, 2010 at 5:15 am Serf: the tax system *doesn’t* subsidise cohabitees over married couples. It does subsidise one-parent families over cohabitees or married couples. The reason the system does this are pretty obvious: ceteris paribus, it’s a lot harder for a single parent to raise kids than two parents, since two parents can either bring in one income and provide free childcare or bring in two incomes. So the best way to alleviate child poverty in the short-to-medium term is to ensure that those families receive a larger safety net. However, the argument against is also fairly obvious: this creates skewed marginal incentives and hence might lead to more, or at least no less, child poverty in the long term. The difficult bit is evaluating how relatively strong those two effects are and deciding where we as a society want the balance to be. But you’d have to be a raving idiot to deny that both are important. SBML: Samsom & Laub’s research found that major events in life can act as turning points. But marriage isn’t actually the point at all – in ‘Charlie’s example, the thing which changes his life is finding the girl in question and changing his behaviour to commit to her, not the ceremony. Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.