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Thursday, 24 April 2008

More from an economist on the decision

I am fascinated by an on-going discussion on the Econlog (see blog links) about the decision to have children or not. One of the economists Bryan Caplan, posted this summary of a lecture on 'Selfish Reasons to Have More Children'

It's very interesting - although, as I've said many times before and particularly in this blog post I don't think that happiness can be boiled down to whether or not you have children or whether or not you have more or less children.


womaninawindow said...

So true. The happiness has to be firmly roots before you even consider having children. It's those roots that children will feed off of, like some umbilical cord giving nourishment. Ya. That's it. That's good. You need those those roots...

womaninawindow said...

I wish you could edit comments AFTER publishing them. Darnit! Firmly "rooted".

Beth said...

I like that idea of happiness being firmly rooted. It's deeper than happiness - like a sense of being truly centered or authentic. Happiness comes from that - that centered, connected place.

I was thinking that maybe the studies the econ guy points to around children leading to happiness are flawed in that perhaps that having children is a way (but not the only way) to become more grounded??

You can do this without kids - like a woman I interviewed for my book who is an artist and her art became a way she grounded herself.

Don't know - it's interesting though.

Expatmum said...

I have to take issue with his comment that "almost all Americans can afford child care". Perhaps he mixes with Americans that can, and I myself (a British expat) have help, but that is definitely not the majority.
Since most little ones don't start school till the equivalent of Year 1, it's pre-school for an additional year, and although there are a few free pre-schools, most are fee-paying and not cheap.

Beth said...

Yeah, I missed that bit expat mum. From friends I know in the US, childcare is just as expensive as here in the UK - and like you said, children start school 1 year later anyway. Having a kid in nursery here is like taking out a second mortgage!