James Q. Wilson

James Q. Wilson


James Q. Wilson was a professor of government at Harvard and a professor of public policy at the University of California at Los Angeles. He now lectures at Pepperdine University and Boston College. He is the author of fifteen books, including Bureaucracy, The Moral Sense, and (with John DiIulio) American Government. He is chairman of the Council of Academic Advisers at the American Enterprise Institute and a governor of the Pardee Rand Graduate School. He has been a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a director of State Farm Insurance, the president of the American Political Science Association, and the recipient of that organization’s James Madison Award for a distinguished scholarly career. In 2003 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

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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?