Cato forum on “Men Without Work”

Today I attended a Cato book forum, about “Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis”, by Nicholas Eberstadt, from Templeton Press, from the American Enterprise Institute.

Davd Bier also spoke, about how immigrant males compare in workforce participation compared to naturally-born Americans.

Men with less education, and especially black men, and especially also men with some law enforcement problems, have shown a steady decline in employment, up to about 25% non-participation. The decline has been consistent during economic recoveries as well as declines (2008).

These are men who do not even look for work, but “watch”, on electronic devices, as if doing so were a fake job.  Some live at home with parents as adults.  They tend not to participate in childcare or volunteer work or chores.  They seem lazy.

Immigrant men do not show this problem as much.  Immigrant men (despite the “Trojan horse” issue) have lower crime rates than native men.  Men who are married with children are much less likely to remain idle.  The lecture did not address same-sex marriage, but presumably a male couple with children to raise would perform similarly to traditional couples.  Immigrant men are more likely to be married with kids and follow conventional gender roles more than native men.

Immigrant men are also more able to move around geographically, but this could mean lower home ownership rates.   In higher paying tech jobs, I would think that single men would be more geographically mobile.  When education level improves, the performance of single men starts to compare much better with married men.

 

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(Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 12:30 AM EST)

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