A Review of Mattias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti's Love, Money and Parenting: How Economics Explains the Way We Raise Our Kids
- Journal of Economic Literature (Forthcoming)
As Generation X's (born in the 1960s and 1970s) child-bearing ages draw to a close, its parenting practices are due for assessment, the topic of the book under review. The book organizes its discussion around Diana Baumrind's three parenting styles: authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative. It chronicles the drift toward the two latter and argues that income inequality determines which one of the two will be popular. When inequality is low, less is at stake and the parenting style can be more relaxed. By contrast, high inequality pushes parents toward the achievement-oriented authoritative style. More generally, the book argues, cultural differences in parenting styles can be understood as the outcome of altruistic parents' efforts to prepare their children for adulthood, useful perspective when parental rights are limited, long the case in the West.
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