Professor Melissa Kearney, along with her co-author, Maryland Ph.D. student Riley Wilson, have had their work on the "marriageable male" featured in the Washington Post.
Historically, increases in employment and wages for blue-collar men have reduced the share of kids born to unwed parents. But in areas affected by the current fracking boom, an increase in the number of births was not accompanied by a similar reduction.
Kearney and Wilson checked on the romantic progress of men without college degrees in states at the center of the United States' oil and natural gas boom which have seen spikes in employment and wages. They looked at population data from swaths of Texas, Oklahoma, California and Pennsylvania.
Kearney and Wilson calculated that every $1,000 per capita increase in an area’s fracking production was linked to an additional six births per 1,000 women. About half of those extra babies, she said, were born to married parents.
In other words, more money seemed to bring more kids — regardless of the parents’ marital status.
Read the full article on the Washington Post.
Read the working paper.
See additional coverage in Bloomberg and Salon.
Melissa Kearney