Do Parents Matter? Q&A with Bryan Caplan, Author of Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids


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In his best-selling book The Myth of the Rational Voter (2007) George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan demythologized the notion that American voters know what they are doing when they step into the ballot booth.

In his new book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think, Caplan does the same for the conventional wisdom about parenting. In a world of Tiger Moms and helicopter parents who monitor and agonize over every minor activity in which their children engage, the father of three says that parents actually have minimal influence over long-term outcomes for their children. Rather than fretting over whether junior is admitted into Baby Einstein violin programs, Caplan argues that parents should relax and learn to enjoy their kids' childhood.

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Caplan to discuss the research behind and the reception of his unconventional theory.

Shot by Jim Epstein and Meredith Bragg. Edited by Meredith Bragg. About 7 minutes.

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