Saturday, February 07, 2015

Two Results of Blue Laws' Repeal: Less Education, Less Income

"Blue laws," for those too young to remember, were in force in many states and communities across the United States when I was growing up. They forbade businesses, except for a few given exemptions like pharmacies, from being open on Sundays.

Of course, these laws reflected the Christian tradition of observing the day of the week on which Jesus rose from the dead as a sabbath.

Personally, I think it's fine idea for businesses to take one day a week off, especially if they do it in order to encourage their employees to rest and focus on the Word of God. But I don't think that people should be coerced into observing a sabbath. The New Testament knows nothing of a coerced faith.

But a study cited by a recent edition of the Harvard Business Review Daily Stat, shows that the repeal of Blue Laws has resulted in a work force less inclined to seek higher education and who earned less as a result. Check it out:

THE DAILY STAT: Harvard Business Review

February 5, 2015

The Lure of Mall Jobs Hurts Students’ Educational Prospects

The repeal of “blue laws” in American states had a harmful effect on young people’s education and earnings: Their number of years of completed education declined 0.11 years, their likelihood of finishing high school fell by 1.2 percentage points, and their subsequent adult wages decreased, says Dara N. Lee, an economist at the University of Missouri. Lee studied 16 states that, from 1955 to 1991, repealed laws requiring stores to close on Sundays. The expansion of Sunday retail activities led to a decline in church attendance and drew more young people into the labor market and away from school, the research suggests.

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