Binder and Bound examine the decline of non-college-educated men in the labor market
"Where Have All the Men Without College Degrees Gone?" - The Atlantic. 3/9/2019.
Economists have been working to understand the roots of the decline, and have come up with a cadre of theories: Perhaps it’s a case of insufficient wages for jobs that don’t require a degree; or maybe rising incarceration rates are the real culprit (people with criminal records have a harder time getting jobs); or it could be that more jobs that did not require a degree in the past do now.
A recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that maybe it’s all of the above and then some—a complex combination of low wages for non-college-degreed jobs; incarceration rates, which are higher among men without degrees; and a sharp decline in marriage rates among less educated men, which may remove an economic incentive to work—all wrapped up into a slowly rolling ball that’s knocking more and more men out of the workforce. Sure, these issues are affecting college-educated men as well, but each of them is felt more acutely by those without degrees.