Want Your Kids to Be Better Educated and Wealthier?

Remain married to your spouse, if at all possible. Note that the positive effect of having parents that remain married is even stronger when the parents in question never even went to college. Note the following as well:

The idea that marriages have such strong spillover effects strikes some as a spurious correlation. But there is evidence of a causal relationship, too. MIT economist John Gruber, studying the effect of divorce on later incomes, found that adults “exposed to unilateral divorce regulations as children are less well educated, have lower family incomes, marry earlier but separate more often, and have higher odds of suicide.” Indiana psychologist Brian D’Onofrio, relying on a study of twins, also found that young adults from divorced homes did worse than their cousins from intact homes (the cousins had parents who were twins) when it came to substance abuse and behavioral problems.

The intact, two-parent family seems to be particularly important for children hailing from less privileged homes and a powerful force for economic mobility when it’s the family norm at the community level. Policymakers who feel more comfortable talking about metrics than marriages need to understand that marriage could be one of the most important metrics.