No group is as linked to poverty in the American mind as single mothers. For decades, politicians, journalists and scholars have scrutinized the reasons poor couples fail to use contraception, have children out of wedlock and do not marry.
When the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution formed a bipartisan panel of prominent poverty scholars to write a “Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty” in 2015, its first recommendation was to “promote a new cultural norm surrounding parenthood and marriage.”
The reality, however, is that single motherhood is not the reason we have unusually high poverty in the United States, compared with other rich democracies. In fact, we recently published a study in The American Journal of Sociology, using data from the Luxembourg Income Study, which demonstrates that reducing single motherhood here would not substantially reduce poverty.
[For more on this story by DAVID BRADY, RYAN M. FINNIGAN and SABINE HÜBGEN, go to https://www.nytimes.com/2018/0...mothers-poverty.html]