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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,

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Presentation on theme: "“REQUIREMENTS OF THE FAMILY THAT FORMS: SOME ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS” Maria Sophia Aguirre Department of Economics The Catholic University of America Washington,"— Presentation transcript:

1 “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

2 How Does Women Fit in the Economy? Basic Activities Means Used Role of the Family Purpose ProductionResources Human Capital Basic Needs ExchangeMarket Human, Moral, Social Capital Profit Consumption Optimization and Distribution Appropriate distribution Wellbeing(welfare)

3 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 Increases likelihood of father having good relations with children. Marriage reduces the probability of children divorcing themselves or becoming unwed parents. 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 reduces the likelihood of children graduating from college and high school. Divorce increases risk of course failure. Divorce increases risk of course failure.

4 The psychological stability and health of a child is closely related to healthy families and this is important for worker productivity and government finances 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. Children enjoy better physical health, on average, than other family forms. Sharply reduces infant mortality. Sharply reduces infant mortality. Increases life expectancy, especially for men Increases life expectancy, especially for men Associated with reduced abuse of alcohol, and substance abuse for adults and teens. 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. Associated with better health and lower probability of injuries for both men and women. Lower levels of physiological distress and mental illness. Lower levels of physiological distress and mental illness. Mothers have lower levels of depression than single or co- habiting mothers. Mothers have lower levels of depression than single or co- habiting mothers.

5  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.

6 Family Constitution and Life Style Its impact in Numbers: Long-Term Effects on Individual and Family Economic Wellbeing

7 Family Relationships and Its Relation to the Frequency of Family Dining (% of Teens) Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University. 40% 171%

8 Academic Performance and Its Relation to the Frequency of Family Dining (% of Teens Obtaining Mostly A or B Grades in School) Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University. 38%

9 Substance Abuse and Its Relation to the Frequency of Family Dining (% of Teens Who Have Tried Abuse Substances) Source:National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University. 142% 73% 191%169%

10 Percentage of Children Whose Families have Family Dining by Family Structure (% of children) Source: Administration for Children and Families, Department of House and Human Services 3.5 times higher

11 SUSTAINABLE GROWTH REQUIRES Savings Wealth Investment: Physical and Human Capital Remittances?

12 Less than high schoolHigh schoolSome CollegeCollege Married Single-parent Co-habiting Average of NETWORTH EDCL MARRIED Average Net Wealth Worth within the USA per Education Level Sources: Aguirre (2007) 253% 333%

13 Average Net Wealth Worth in USA per Age Classification Sources: Aguirre (2007) MarriedSingle-parentsCo-habiting < >75 Average of NETWORTH Family Structure AGECL 51% 40%

14 Average Net Wealth in Canada per Family Structure 155% 250% Sources: Aguirre (2007) 0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80, , , , ,000 MarriedCo-HabitingSingle-Parent Marital Status Canadian Dollars Wealth Housing 263 % 200 %

15 242% Net Wealth in Canada Sources: Aguirre (2007)

16 Percentage of Head of Households that Report Owning Property and Holding Savings in Guatemala Source: ENEI (2004)

17 Level of Education of the Head of Household per Race and Family Structure in Guatemala Sources: ENEI (2004)

18 Children School Attendance by Family Structure in Guatemala Sources: ENEI (2004)

19 Net Wealth by Family Structure in Chile Sources: INE (1997) 126 % 0 200, , , ,000 1,000,000 1,200,000 MarriedSingle MotherCohabiting Family Structure Millions of Pesos (1997) 139% 160%

20 Wealth by Head of Household’s age and Family Structure in Chile Sources: INE (1997)

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

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

23 Ownership in Households who Receive Remittances by Family Structure (% of Family Structure)

24 Guatemalan Children in Families who Receive Remittances Have a highest probability of attending grade school in married households (it increases by 58%) 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.) 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%. If women is head of household and works the probability decreases by 66%.

25 Conclusion  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: damages the economy and the society since human, moral, and social capital is reduced and social costs increased.

26  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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