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Married … Without Means

November 2012, Shawn Fremstad

Most parents with below-poverty incomes who are raising minor children are married. The failure of many policy elites to recognize the extent of marital poverty covers up the profound economic struggles of millions of married parents. This paper concludes that to reduce marital poverty and hardship — and increase economic security for families of all types — policy makers need to expand and strengthen labor market institutions as well as universal systems of social protection against economic risks, and make quality child care and early education a birthright for all children.

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