A mother at home is of more use to the economy than her husband at work.

Don’t believe me? Watch this clip of Pat Fagan of the Family Research Council speaking at the recent World Congress of Families, and I’m sure you’ll agree!

I’ll run through his main points though, to summarise for you.

Fagan starts by saying that the quality of children, and so our future society, depends directly on the quality of the marriage of their parents – which affects the quality of their upbringing.

Fagan notes that society is made up of five facets: the family, church, school, the marketplace and government. The first three mentioned are the places that “grow the people” so to speak, and are closely interrelated. The last two areas of society are those into which people are set loose, once they’ve grown up: but the role that they play in these spheres of economy and government really depends on what happened in their experience of family, church and school.

The statistics which Fagan shares are both interesting and revealing. When men marry, their productivity increases by over 20%, and the highest rates of productivity in society come from men who are married with three kids. Married people also make up the demographic that shows the lowest level of unemployment. And while sadly only 45% of children in America reach the age of 17 with their parents’ marriage still intact, those who do achieve better education results.  

So it becomes obvious that the quality of marriage in a society affects its economy.

If you’re still not convinced, the evidence is before our eyes. Look at Italy, Spain and Greece: these are nations that have competed for the lowest fertility rates in recent years, and they are also among the countries worst hit by the economic crisis.  

And so returning to my first point: a mother at home could be said to be doing more for the economy than her husband, by bringing up kids in the ideal environment: where they’ve been shown to thrive and also later contribute more efficiently to the economy.

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.