By now it is common knowledge that professionals are more likely to marry and less likely to divorce than are less educated workers. Among 20- to 49-year-old men in 2013, 56 percent of professional, managerial and technical workers were married, compared with 31 percent of service workers, according to the American Community Survey of the Census Bureau. Some people argue that the gap is largely a result of a decline in traditional values among working-class men, particularly whites who constitute the majority of them. Supposedly they are not as industrious in seeking employment as were their fathers and grandfathers and so fail to secure the steady jobs needed for marriage.
现在众所周知 ，与受教育程度较低的就业人群相比 ，专业人士结婚的可能性更大 ，离婚的可能性更小 。美国人口普查局的美国社区调查数据显示 ，2013年20至49岁的男性中 ，56%的专业型、管理型和技术型职业人士已婚 ，而服务业从业人员的已婚者比例仅为31% 。有人称 ，两者之间产生差距的原因主要是 ，工薪阶层男性 ，特别是在这个阶层中占多数的白人 ，对传统价值观的认同降低 。可能他们在求职时不像父辈和祖父辈那么勤奋 ，所以未能找到婚姻所需要的稳定工作 。
But some digging into historical census records shows that social class differences in marriage have been tied to the extent of income inequality among white Americans for at least 130 years. They also suggest that commentators who insist that the marriage gap is wholly a matter of values are almost surely wrong.
但对历史人口普查数据进行一些挖掘就会发现 ，在至少130年的时间里 ，婚姻方面的阶层差异和美国白人当中的收入不平等程度相关 。历史数据还表明 ，坚持认为结婚率差距完全是价值观问题的那些评论人士 ，几乎可以肯定是搞错了 。
Census records, which have been compiled into the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series by demographers at the University of Minnesota, tell us that the current era is not the first time that the nation has experienced a large marriage gap; it is at least the second. Another instance occurred in the late 19th century. What these two eras have in common, according to the economists Claudia Goldin, Lawrence F. Katz and Robert A. Margo, is that economic inequality was high and rising during both of them.
明尼苏达大学(University of Minnesota)的人口统计学家已将人口统计数据汇编进了“综合公共利用微数据系列”(Integrated Public Use Microdata Series) 。这些数据告诉我们 ，当今时代并非美国首次出现巨大的结婚率差距 ，至少是第二次 。另一次出现在19世纪末 。克劳迪亚·戈尔丁(Claudia Goldin)、劳伦斯·F·卡茨(Lawrence F. Katz)和罗伯特·A·马戈(Robert A. Margo)这三位经济学家认为 ，这两个时代的相同之处在于 ，经济不平等居高不下且日益加剧 。
The first marriage gap occurred between 1880 and 1910, during a period that Mark Twain labeled the Gilded Age. The growing industrial economy increased the number of managers and executives. The extension of schooling increased the demand for teachers. And the quadrupling of newspaper circulation between 1880 and 1900 increased the demand for editors and reporters. A white-collar professional class solidified its gains in the labor market and married in large numbers.
首次出现结婚率差距是在1880年至1910年期间 。那个时期被马克·吐温(Mark Twain)形容为“镀金时代”(Gilded Age) 。不断发展的工业经济提高了中高层管理人员的总人数 。学校教育的延长提升了对教师的需求 。同时 ，1880年至1900年期间 ，报纸发行量翻了两番 ，扩大了对编辑和记者的需求 。白领专业人士在就业市场上的收益得到了巩固 ，并且他们还大量走进婚姻 。
At the same time, the fortunes of independent craftsmen and artisans declined as their small shops were replaced by large factories. Younger men who would have found positions as skilled apprentices and journeymen instead became low-paid industrial or service workers, and their marriage rates were modest.
与此同时 ，独立工匠和手艺人的财富缩水 ，因为他们的小店铺被大型工厂取代了 。本可以找到熟练学徒和雇佣工岗位的年轻人 ，却变成了低收入的工厂工人或服务业从业者 。他们的结婚率较低 。
In the past few decades, a period that some are calling the New Gilded Age, inequality has been high and rising again. Workers with bachelor’s degrees have seen their earnings far outpace those with less education. The middle of the labor market has hollowed out because of technological change. The offshoring of production has closed factory after factory. At the bottom, low-skilled service work has expanded, while at the top, an elite has captured an increasing share of income gains.
在被部分人称作“新镀金时代”的过去几十年里 ，不平等再次居高不下并日渐加剧 。有本科学历的就业人群发现 ，自己的收入远远超过了受教育程度较低的人 。因为技术变革 ，劳动力市场的中间部分被掏空了 。生产流程外包导致一家又一家工厂倒闭 。底层的低技能服务业从业者规模扩大 ，而顶层的精英人士在新增收入中所占的份额日渐增大 。
Not coincidentally, we see high levels of marriage among young professionals today, although they may delay weddings until they have started a career.
并非巧合的是 ，我们发现 ，年轻的专业人士当中 ，结婚比例也较高 ，尽管他们可能会将婚礼推迟到事业开启之后 。
College-educated men and women are the privileged players in our transformed economy: They can pool two incomes and provide a solid financial foundation for a marriage. In contrast, we have seen declines in marriage among high school graduates who are stuck in the middle of the labor market, where they can no longer find the kind of steady, decently paying employment that supported their grandparents’ marriages.
在我们已经转型的经济中 ，接受过大学教育的人是处于优势地位的参与者：男女双方可以获得两份收入 ，为婚姻提供坚实的经济基础 。相比之下 ，我们发现 ，在仅有高中学历的人群中 ，已婚人士的比例出现了下降 。他们卡在了劳动力市场的夹层中 ，如今已经找不到祖辈那种稳定而薪水体面、可以支撑婚姻的工作了 。
What the census data demonstrate, then, is a strong association between the level of economic inequality and the level of marriage inequality. Since 1880, the marriage gap and the earnings gap have been correlated. In periods when wages were more unequal, so were marriage rates.
因此 ，人口普查数据所证明的 ，是经济不平等与结婚率不平等之间的有力联系 。自1880年以来 ，结婚率差距和收入差距一直存在关联 。在工资水平差距更大的时代 ，结婚率的差距也会更显著 。
When inequality was low and stable during the prosperous post-World War II years, marriage rates were more similar and the proportions of married people reached historic high points for all groups.
在二战后繁荣的年份中 ，贫富差距水平低而稳定 ，结婚率也相差不大 ，所有群体中的已婚者比例都创下了历史新高 。
To be sure, the parallel movements of economic inequality and marriage inequality do not prove that the former causes the latter. But it is hard to look at the census figures and conclude that the state of the labor market has had nothing to do with the marriage gap among the middle class, the working class and the poor. Certainly, no one would argue that the large marriage gap during the first Gilded Age was caused by the reluctance of men to work hard. On the contrary, they labored long hours for wages so low that families were often able to subsist only by sending sons out to sell newspapers or having their daughters work as servants in other families’homes.
当然 ，经济差距和结婚率差距的变动趋于一致 ，并不能证明前者是后者的原因 。不过 ，在看到人口普查的数据之后 ，很难相信就业市场的状况与中产阶级、工薪阶层和穷人之间的结婚率差距无关 。毫无疑问的是 ，没人会认为 ，在第一次镀金时代 ，结婚率的巨大差异是男性不愿意努力工作造成的 。恰恰相反 ，他们工作的时间很长 ，工资水平却非常低 ，常常要让家中的男孩去卖报纸、女孩去别人家里当佣人 ，才能维持生计 。
Moreover, the government social welfare programs that are often blamed for creating dependency among the poor, such as cash assistance for single parents, unemployment benefits and food stamps, did not start until the 1930s and therefore cannot be blamed for a marriage gap that existed a half-century earlier.
此外 ，人们常常把穷人中产生的差距归咎于政府的社会福利项目 ，比如单亲家庭的现金补贴、失业救济和食品券 。但这些福利项目是从上世纪30年代才开始的 ，因此在那之前半个世纪的结婚率差距 ，并不是由此造成的 。
Yet, even if it has not been the major determinant of class differences in who marries, cultural change has been a factor in what unmarried people are doing.
不过 ，尽管文化变革并不是决定阶级之间结婚率差距的主要因素 ，但它却影响着未婚人士的生活状态 。
Single men and women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries rarely lived together without marrying, and very few had children. The social norms against cohabitation and childbearing outside of marriage were strong.
19世纪末和20世纪初 ，单身男女很少同居 ，几乎没人未婚生子 。反对婚前同居和生子的社会规范十分强大 。
During the past few generations, these norms have weakened. It is now commonplace for unmarried young adults to cohabit and broadly acceptable for them to have children. Unlike their ancestors in the late 1800s, many of today’s working-class young adults have responded to the difficulty of marrying by living with a partner and having children outside of marriage. We would not be seeing these trends if social norms about family formation had remained unchanged — even given the recent rise in income inequality.
而过去几代人的时间里 ，这些规范已经弱化 。如今 ，未婚男女同居的现象十分普遍 ，人们也广泛认为未婚生子是可以接受的 。与19世纪末的人不同 ，今天工薪阶层的年轻人当中 ，许多人应对结婚难的办法是 ，找个伴侣同居 ，不结婚就生育 。如果关于家庭的社会规范一成不变 ，就不会出现这种趋势 ，即使近年来收入不平等出现加剧 。