If you're a reader here at EE, the probability that you also read Kids Prefer Cheese approaches 1 in the limit. So it's almost guaranteed that you've borne witness to this week's Monday's Child. However, if you're like me, you may not necessarily click on each of Mike's links. I know, I know: it's breaking kayfabe of me to admit that, but time is scarce etc. etc. I think it's fair to say though that this little fellow here should be a good one to exercise the ol' EWOT.
ICY didn't RTWT, Colorado is mulling a state-mandated pre-wedding education course. Regret, I imagine is the EE condition engaged here. Divorce rates seem to be evidence of ex post regret, res ipsa loquitor. How can marriage be euvoluntary if people get a few years in and then huck it all?
The economics are pretty straightforward: ceteris paribus, adding a fixed cost to something raises the relative price of the low-quality good. Alchian and Allen made the case for apples and lobsters, saying that orchards and Maine lobstermen would be more prone to shipping the good stuff out given shipping costs. Of course, if you've had a pint of cider fresh from the press or a bowl of l-bisque fresh from the bay, you might recognize the empirical flaw (that A&A themselves readily admitted in their textbook) in the theory. Still, the incentives here are pretty plain: raise the relative price of marriage, and you can expect to see some substitution on one or more margins: more cohabitation, more out-of-state ceremonies (inter alia, naturally). More single parenthood?
Of course, with single parenthood, ceteris is not parebus since the relative private cost of oral contraceptives is taking a big honkin' nose dive under the ACA. Or at least it is for folks with coverage. Which is pretty much the part of the population that's already underserved by the insurance industry already, right? Young poor people are signing up in droves on the exchanges, right?
Step 1: make it more expensive to get married
Step 2: make it cheaper to have kids out of wedlock
Step 3: imprison fathers like it's going out of style
Step 4: ???
Step 5: forward the empire
Consequences aren't everything, people. But they are a thing and they need to be taken seriously.