Woodward Lectures

The economics of parenting

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Time: 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: GEOG100, 1984 West Mall (Map)

The Vancouver School is Economics is proud to present Fabrizio Zilibotti, Tuntex Professor of International and Development Economics at Yale University, on The economics of parenting.

Fabrizio Zilibotti

About the lecture
In recent decades, parenting has become a contact sport. Time-use data from many countries show that today’s parents spend much more time on child care than a few decades ago.  Part of this transformation can be explained by changing economic incentives. Economic inequality and return to education have risen sharply since the 1980s after a period of historically low inequality. From the perspective of altruistic parents, the rise in inequality has upped the stakes in parenting, resulting in frantic helicopter parents. In a newly published book on “Love, Money and Parenting” (Princeton University Press, February 2019), Matthias Doepke and I document that both over time and across countries, higher inequality is closely associated with more intensive parenting. For instance, parents are more relaxed in Sweden and Canada, where inequality is lower, than in the United States and China.

The dark side of this trend is a divergence across income and education groups. Wealthy and educated parents react to the changed economic environment by redoubling their efforts to give their children a leg up. Less fortunate parents, given financial and time constraints, are often unable to keep up. This parenting gap can turn into a parenting trap, accelerating the trend towards a more deeply divided society, and raising the need of policy responses.

About the presenter
Fabrizio Zilibotti is Tuntex Professor of International and Development Economics at Yale University, and a fellow at Pauli Murray College. To learn more about Prof. Zilbiotti, click here.

VSE’s Woodward Lecture Event Series

Mr. Eugene Sidney Woodward was a journalist who enjoyed a successful career writing for newspapers such as the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province, and Vancouver News-Herald, and also published under the pseudonym of Gene Ard. Through the generosity of Mr. Woodward, UBC has established a lectureship to perpetuate his spirit of concern for economic freedom and his interest in fresh approaches to contemporary economic problems and institutions. The lectureship is administered by the Vancouver School of Economics. For a list of past lectures, click here.