Nobel Prize Winner in Economics Says Families with Stay At Home Wives Do Better

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A Homemaker Maximizes the Output of a Household’s Production

Speaking of household production, Becker compared families of dual-income households to one income households, and he found that the family with one stay-at-home caretaker will on average generate a higher productivity output in their household. Becker’s analysis assumes that the gains to marriage are generated by specialization and the division of labor, implying that those with higher wages will tend to marry those with lower wages. If both spouses are working, however, then most of the gains to marriage may not arise from specialization and a division of labor between home and market.

Households with a partner who specializes in childrearing, while the other parent focuses on their career, tend to be more productive in the long run.

In simple English, it turns out that households with a homemaker who specializes in childrearing, while the other parent focuses completely on their career, tend to be more productive in the long run. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is because housework and child care are valuable economic outputs. If you paid someone else to do it, you’ll end up paying a premium for that service which will cost your household’s (family’s) wealth to diminish over the long run. (One family saved almost $17,000 a year when one parent chose to stay home full time.)

To simplify this even further, imagine a homemaker who had specialized her skills in preparing nutritious and delicious meals at home from scratch. For a family without a homemaker to enjoy the same quality of life, it would cost them a premium because they’d have to pay for takeout or dine out at a restaurant. And the homemaker would give the children an even more added advantage by passing down this knowledge to the offspring. For example, a child who is taught by the homemaker how to cook and clean will be at an economic advantage of their peers who’d have to pay for these services.

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A few of the commenters, which Quarteracrehome will tell you are just bots who don’t really exist, made eyerolling objections.

Q:

I didn’t realize mothers who worked full time didn’t know how to cook nutritious and delicious meals! When did the two become mutually exclusive? I think the millions of children in this country with full time working mothers would disagree.”

LOL You can almost feel the butthurt with this woman (poor thing)!  Of course working moms can create healthy meals – but they’re a lot more tired at the end of the day, and probably will reach for something quicker or faster when they need to.  Lots of working moms are constantly just in survival mode, my mom was like this growing up, and for awhile when I was in the workforce it was like this for us, too.  Staying at home allows me to have leisurely evenings (complete with NO homework since we homeschool!).  Both my husband and I can rest and relax and enjoy the evening – well as much as our 4 kids will let us LOL

Q:

It states that one parent staying at home is beneficial because no career has to be “given up” if they were to uproot and move… but wasn’t the stay at home parent’s career already given up to stay at home?”

I don’t think this woman is understanding the article correctly.  The article is saying that the stay at home parent is able to help their partner EARN more money over time because if they want to, they can just uproot and move for a more lucrative job.  A two-income family is much less likely to do something that risky because the other partner who is working would have to quit and start over usually from scratch with their job.

Overall, the article is about the financial side of marriages like this, how a husband can make much much more money overtime than if his wife was working full time.  It’s honestly in countless little ways that this happens, and doesn’t just involve childcare costs and home-cooked meals (those are a part of it for sure), but it’s also just more productive in an emotional/mental way that husbands with working wives don’t have.

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