(ORDO NEWS) — The results of a new study showed that countries that raised the minimum wage strengthened marriages and reduced divorce rates among low-paid workers.
This study, published in the journal Marriage and Family, was the first study of the impact of a minimum wage increase on marriage stability in the United States.
“I have been studying marriage and divorce for 30 years and have spent most of that time studying low-income couples in the early years of marriage.
Throughout this time, I have been closely following the federal government’s efforts to promote stronger marriages among the low-income population,” said study author, professor and co-director of the UCLA Marriage and Intimate Relationship Lab, Benjamin Carney.
For their study, the experts analyzed data collected from the 60,000-household population survey and the 300,000-household American Community Survey.
The data was collected from 2004 to 2015 and the analysis was conducted among individuals aged 18 to 35, who make up the majority of minimum wage workers.
The researchers found that the increase in the minimum wage had a positive effect on earnings and no effect on hours worked.
The increase in the minimum wage also affected the number of marriages and divorces among low-income households.
“The message of this work is that policy makers who care about the health and stability of working families should invest in programs that improve their quality of life, whether or not those programs directly target how couples communicate.
With enough resources, couples can figure out how to communicate without any help from relationship educators,” Carney said.
“While the results of the analysis clearly show that raising the minimum wage leads to a reduction in the number of early marriages and divorces, the available data have not been able to explain the mechanism of this effect,” Carney said.
“Future research should explore whether raising the minimum wage affected marriage and divorce decisions by reducing financial stress, increasing couples’ confidence in the future, increasing partners’ respect for each other, or something else.”
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