Family Models: History and Future

This is a short extract from a long post by Reihan Salam. Whether you agree or not, it is a fascinating look at family structure, its history and the pressures driving its future. A mix of economics, history and sociology.

He finishes on how family choices could drive regional political orientations. Interesting to consider how this applies to the classic inner west family and the classic outer suburban family:

Families that place a strong emphasis on allowing female partners to specialize in household production might be particularly drawn to low-cost metropolitan areas, in which land-use regulations are relatively relaxed and housing and other necessities are relatively inexpensive. Families that place a strong emphasis on a relative balanced division of labor, in contrast, might be more drawn to highly productive metropolitan areas rich in job opportunities (thus easing coordination problems between partners in different occupations), yet these regions also tend to have stricter land-use regulations and thus higher housing costs. It is easy to see how this kind of geographic sorting might exacerbate ideological polarization: families in the first camp will spend relatively less on the necessities of life, and might thus be more tax-sensitive (as federal taxes are the lever that can’t be controlled); families in the second camp might see federal taxes as far less onerous than the cost of housing, health insurance, and other goods purchased on the market, thus inclining them towards favoring more regulation of the market and more redistribution. (This is all very provisional. I intend to write more on this subject.)

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