HSBC Research Professor in Economics, Northwestern University
Parenting in the Age of Inequality: Is Intensive, Achievement-oriented Parenting a Rational Response to a Changing World?
In the last few decades, American parenting has transformed from being relaxed and laissez-faire into a frantic, overscheduled activity. Parents experience rising anxiety about the achievements of their little ones, and in response now devote about twice as much time on supervising and interacting with their kids as what was the norm in the 1970s. In this talk, economist Matthias Doepke, Ph.D., co-author of Love, Money & Parenting: How Economics Explains How We Raise Our Kids, argues that this change, rather than being a form of collective madness, represents a broadly rational response of parents to a changed economic environment. The main culprit is rising economic inequality. As the gap between the rich and the poor and those with more and less education has risen, so have parents’ perceptions of the stakes in children’s achievement, and more intensive parenting is the result. Prof. Doepke also highlights that the same changes have resulted in more unequal parenting across society, and he discusses policy options that may help counteract these trends and help preserve the ideal of equal opportunity for all.
- Compass Health Center
- Fusion Academy
- Haven Youth and Family Services
- Kenilworth D38
- New Trier Parents’ Association
- North Shore Country Day School
- Roycemore School
- Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy
- Science and Arts Academy
- The Family Institute at Northwestern University
- The House Tutoring Lounge