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“REQUIREMENTS OF THE FAMILY THAT FORMS: SOME ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS ” . Maria Sophia Aguirre Department of Economics The Catholic University of America Washington, DC VI World Meeting of Families Mexico, January 14-18, 2009. How Does Women Fit in the Economy?. Socioeconomic Relevance.

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“REQUIREMENTS OF THE FAMILY THAT FORMS: SOME ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS”

Maria Sophia Aguirre

Department of Economics

The Catholic University of America

Washington, DC

VI World Meeting of Families

Mexico, January 14-18, 2009



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Socioeconomic Relevance

  • Children develop best within a family that is functional, i.e., with their biological parents in a stable marriage

    • Marriage Increases likelihood of father having good relations with children.

    • Marriage reduces the probability of children divorcing themselves or becoming unwed parents.

  • The academic and social performance of a child is very closely related to the structure of the family in which he lives and this is important for the quality of human and social capital

    • Divorce reduces the likelihood of children graduating from college and high school.

    • Divorce increases risk of course failure.


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  • The psychological stability and health of a child is closely related to healthy families and this is important for worker productivity and government finances

    • Children enjoy better physical health, on average, than other family forms.

    • Sharply reduces infant mortality.

    • Increases life expectancy, especially for men

    • Associated with reduced abuse of alcohol, and substance abuse for adults and teens.

    • Associated with better health and lower probability of injuries for both men and women.

    • Lower levels of physiological distress and mental illness.

    • Mothers have lower levels of depression than single or co-habiting mothers.


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  • The breakdown of the family is a symptom of a sick and weak society

    • Abuse of women is 25 times more likely to occur in an irregular family.

    • Men who have witnessed domestic violence are three times more likely to abuse their own wives and children.

    • Substance abuse and teen-age pregnancy is higher in broken families.

    • Women and children of broken families have a higher probability of living in poverty.

    • Increase of the social welfare expenditures burden.

    • Higher levels of suicide.

    • Boys from single parents have are more likely to engaged in delinquent and criminal behavior.


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Family Constitution and societyLife Style

Its impact in Numbers:

Long-Term Effects on Individual and Family Economic Wellbeing


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Family Relationships and Its Relation to the Frequency of Family Dining(% of Teens)

40%

40%

171%

Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University.


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Academic Performance and Its Relation to the Frequency of Family Dining(% of Teens Obtaining Mostly A or B Grades in School)

38%

Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University.


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Substance Abuse and Its Relation to the Frequency of Family Dining(% of Teens Who Have Tried Abuse Substances)

73%

142%

191%

169%

Source:National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University.


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Percentage of Children Whose Families have Family Dining by Family Structure(% of children)

3.5 times

higher

Source: Administration for Children and Families, Department of House and Human Services


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SUSTAINABLE GROWTH REQUIRES Family Structure

  • Savings

  • Wealth

  • Investment: Physical and Human Capital

  • Remittances?


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Average Net Wealth Worth within the USA per Education Level Family Structure

Average of NETWORTH

25000000

20000000

15000000

MARRIED

Married

Single-parent

Co-habiting

10000000

5000000

0

Less than high school

High school

Some College

College

EDCL

253%

333%

Sources: Aguirre (2007)


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Average of NETWORTH Family Structure

40000000

35000000

30000000

AGECL

25000000

<35

35-44

45-54

20000000

55-64

65-74

>75

15000000

10000000

5000000

0

Married

Single-parents

Co-habiting

Family Structure

Average Net Wealth Worth in USA per

Age Classification

40%

51%

Sources: Aguirre (2007)


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160,000 Family Structure

140,000

Wealth

120,000

Housing

100,000

Canadian Dollars

80,000

60,000

40,000

20,000

0

Married

Co-Habiting

Single-Parent

Marital Status

Average Net Wealth in Canada

per Family Structure

263 %

155%

250%

200 %

Sources: Aguirre (2007)


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Net Wealth in Canada Family Structure

242%

Sources: Aguirre (2007)


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Percentage of Head of Households that Report Owning Property and Holding Savings in Guatemala

Source:ENEI (2004)


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Level of Education of the Head of Household per Race and Family Structurein Guatemala

Sources:ENEI (2004)


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Children School Attendance by Family Structure Family Structurein Guatemala

Sources:ENEI (2004)


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1,200,000 Family Structure

1,000,000

800,000

Millions of Pesos (1997)

600,000

400,000

200,000

0

Married

Single Mother

Cohabiting

Family Structure

Net Wealth by Family Structurein Chile

126 %

139%

160%

Sources: INE (1997)



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Education Level Achieved by Head of Household who Receive Remittances by Family Structure(% of Family Structure)


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School Attendance of Children (6-14) in Households who Receive Remittances by Family Structure(% of Family Structure)



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Guatemalan Children in Families who Receive Remittances Structure

Have a highest probability of attending grade school in married households (it increases by 58%)

Have the lowest probability of attending high school in non-married households (it decreases by 89% for single mothers.)

If women is head of household and works the probability decreases by 66%.


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Conclusion Structure

  • The family is a necessary good for economic development: it should be promoted and protected if poverty reduction wants to be achieved.

    • Children develop in the best way within a family that is functional, i.e., with his biological parents in a stable marriage.

    • The breakdown of the family: damagesthe economy and the society since human, moral, and social capital is reduced and social costs increased.


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  • Family structure is relevant for wealth. This happens to be the case after other characteristics are controlled by.

  • The impact of children on family wealth is best within marriage.

  • Evidence seems to hold across countries. In socialized market economies the negative impacts seem to be mitigated but not eliminated.

  • Healthy family structures support private property.

  • Family dinners shows evidence of the importance of families spending time together.


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