Amy Chua has been making news for her book defending her ultra demanding parenting style, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Economist and Reason contributor Bryan Caplan, author of his own nifty forthcoming book on parenting, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think, applies the ancient wisdom of cost-benefit analysis and economics and thinks it vanquishes the tiger mother.
The most important questions that Chua fails to ask herself, Caplan thinks, and which every parent should, before "doing something for the child" are:
1) Do I enjoy it?
2) Does my child enjoy it?
3) Are there any long-run benefits?
And using Chua's own evidence, Caplan finds her ferocious attempts to get her daughters to practice their instruments fail the test of economic, and parental, good sense.