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Irwin Garfinkel

Biography: 

Mitchell I. Ginsberg Professor of Contemporary Urban Problems, Columbia University School of Social Work.

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Recent Commentary

FOR RICHER OR POORER: The Marriage Problem

with James Q. Wilson, Irwin Garfinkelvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, April 1, 2002

Study after study has shown that married people are healthier and wealthier than unmarried people and that children raised in two-parent homes are generally more successful in life than those who aren't. And yet, according to the U.S. Census, about half of all first marriages end in divorce. Additionally, since 1960 the percentage of children born out of wedlock has grown from single digits to 20 percent. What is going on? Is the decline in marriage a symptom of underlying cultural problems in modern America? Or is it misguided to focus on marriage rather than on the economic problems facing all low-income families, whether married or not?