Thursday, 4 March 2010

Why Unity is Wrong about bastards

H/T A Very British Dude for the pointer to a pile of waffle over at Liberal Conspiracy that claims to 'prove' that teenage girls don't have kids for Welfare. Rubbish. The research actually shows that girls bear bastards because (1) they're dumb (low educational attainment) and (2) they're ugly (their marriage chances are so low that having a bastard will enhance their welfare rather than detract from it).

The evidence comes from a research paper prepared for the Institute for Social and Economic Research by Dr John Ermisch of Essex University entitled 'An economic history of bastardy in England and Wales'

I quote:
Those women who expect to obtain a significant increase in welfare when they marry suffer a greater long-term cost by having a child while single than women whose marriage prospects are such that they expect to gain little from marriage. Thus, women with poorer marriage prospects are more likely to have children outside marriage. If marriage market prospects are worse for poorer women (e.g. those with low educational attainments), because they can only marry poorer men, we would expect that poorer women would be more likely to have children before marriage, a prediction which is repeatedly confirmed (e.g. Ermisch 2001; Del Bono 2004).
Read the whole paper. The proportion of bastards in the population can be reduced to just a few elegant econometric algebraic expressions.

1 comment:

Nick Drew said...

I've said it before ...

1977 Housing (Homeless Persons) Act

guaranteed social housing, + Housing Benefit (+ the opportunity to go home to mum & sub-let) - it's pure economics all the way