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Guest Thinkers

Modern Hedonic Marriage

The recession has not torn young couples apart; it has pushed them closer together. Marriage and divorce rates have remained remarkably immune to the business cycle.

“The decline in marriage…is concentrated entirely among women with less education — those who likely have the least to gain from modern hedonic marriage. This is not to say that the economic downturn has had no effect at all on domestic life. Census data show that the number of unwed couples living together rose sharply last year. With rents high and jobs hard to come by, it’s no surprise that people are doubling up. (But) the rise in cohabitation isn’t coming at the expense of marriage. Instead, many young couples who might otherwise merely be dating are moving in together.”


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