*** Love, Money, and Parenting by Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti

 

The authors of Love, Money, and Parenting: How Economics Explains the Way We Raise Our Kids are fathers and economists, and they have patiently compiled information on how parents choose to be parents in the first place, and how they decide how much to intervene in the decisions their children make, based on the economic climate, the amount of income inequality, and whether the society rewards education or other goods. It turns out that parents are remarkably rational and for the most part, guide their children to success in the societies where they live–or where they expect their children to live. For Americans, the basic conclusion is that, in a society that is quite unequal and where education can pay off nicely, parents push, hard, but they stop short of dictating junior’s career path, because it will yield the best results.

I particularly liked the anecdotes provided by both (European-born) authors on the various surprises they encountered while raising their children in various countries, showing that cultural differences matter a great deal (and match economic differences very exactly).

 

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