04 August 2011

Why do economists have kids?

Empirical research tells us that on average having kids does not make people happier. If anything, people who have kids are slightly less happy than people who don't but are similar in other respects. So why do we do it? In particular, why do the economists who are familiar with this research do it?

The recent Freakonomics Radio show the "Economists' Guide to Parenting" posed this question to three economists.

I would like to believe Bruce Sacerdote when he gives the very rational explanation
"I realised - this is the greatest adventure ever... Its so interesting..."
but I think that if I'm honest with myself I probably actually believe Bryan Caplan who says
"I started getting what psychologists call baby fever", 
and Steve Levitt:
"Just because I'm an economist, doesn't mean I cant be fooled by evolution like everyone else."

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