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John Locher / AP

The decline in marriage rates among less-educated Americans has been a trend of concern for both the left and the right in recent years. Progressives have generally seen these data as the result of a lack of economic opportunity, while conservative thinkers have argued the reverse: that economic inequality is being driven by a decline in cultural affinity for the institution of marriage.

A new study published Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research argues against the first interpretation, showing that between 1997 and 2012, areas that experienced fracking booms — and therefore increased wages and economic opportunity for the less-educated — experienced a spike in birth but not marriage rates.

Why it matters: Though there is some evidence that falling working-class marriage rates were in part caused by shrinking economic opportunity, these results poke a hole in notion that better job opportunities will lead to more marriage.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

5 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios