Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Alex Tabarrok's review of Nate Hilger's The Parent Trap

The Parent Trap–Review of Hilger. Review by Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution, May 25 2022.

Nate Hilger’s has written a brave book. Almost everyone will find something to hate about The Parent Trap. Indeed, I hated parts of it. Yet Hilger is willing to say truths that are often not said and for that I would rather applaud than cancel.

Hilger argues that the problems of poverty, pathology and inequality that bedevil the United States are not primarily due to poor schools, discrimination, or low incomes per se. The primary cause is parents: parents who are unable to teach their children the skills that are necessary to succeed in the modern world. Since parents can’t teach the necessary skills, Hilger calls for the state to take their place with a dramatic expansion of not just child care but collective parenting.

Let’s unpack some details. Begin with schooling. It’s very common to bemoan the state of schools in the “inner city” or to complain about “local financing” which supposedly guarantees that poor counties will have underfunded schools. All of this, however, is decades out-of-date.

A hundred years ago there really were massive public-school resource gaps by class and race. These days, however, state and federal spending play a larger role than local property tax revenue and distribute educational resources more progressively….In fact, when we include federal aid, 42 states spent more on poor school districts than on rich school districts in 2012. The same pattern holds between schools within districts

….The highest spending districts are large urban centers such as New York City, Boston and Baltimore. These cities spend large sums to educate rich and poor children alike. p. 10-11

Hilger is correct. No matter what you saw on The Wire, Baltimore spends more than sixteen thousand dollars per student, among the highest in the nation in large school districts and above average for the nation as a whole. Public schools are quite egalitarian in funding with any bias running towards more funding for poorer districts.

Full review with charts, etc., at the link above

Atheism may serve as a cue to the endorsement of less committed mating strategies, which, in turn, prompts concerns about atheists’ trustworthiness and approval in trust domains

Testing a perceived uncommitted mating strategy account for atheist distrust and marriage disapproval. Joshua T. Lambert, William Hart & Charlotte Kinrade. Current Psychology, May 19 2022.

Abstract: Recent research suggests presumptions about atheists’ uncommitted mating strategy causes atheists to seem less trustworthy, and that people who are more religious or espouse less agreeable attitudes toward uncommitted mating (i.e., more restricted sociosexual attitudes) tend to harbor greater anti-atheist attitudes. We provided additional tests of these ideas and addressed whether they could extend to discrimination against atheists in a “high-trust domain:” likelihood of granting approval to marry one’s adult child. An MTurk sample of U.S. parents (N = 301) self-reported their religiosity and sociosexual attitudes, then were randomly assigned to a condition wherein they read about their adult child’s fiancé who was either depicted as an atheist or devoted Christian. Participants reported their likelihood of approving of their child marrying the fiancé and estimated the fiancé’s committed mating strategy, trustworthiness, and dark personality characteristics. Participants with high religiosity presumed an atheist (vs. devoted Christian) fiancé endorsed a less committed mating strategy, which, apart from presumptions about the fiancé’s standing on dark personality characteristics, was associated with (a) perceiving the atheist as less trustworthy and (b) indicating less approval for their child marrying an atheist. Broadly, the research extends theorizing on how atheism relates to perceived threats to moral values and discrimination.

Why is the marriage rate falling in East Asia? College graduate women prefer less patriarchal men, i.e. men whose mothers worked or non-Japanese if they’re in the US; given their shortage, educated East Asian women remain single

Housewife, “Gold Miss,” and Equal: The Evolution of Educated Women’s Role in Asia and the U.S. Jisoo Hwang. May 2022.

Abstract: The fraction of U.S. college graduate women who ever marry has increased relative to less educated women since the mid-1970s. In contrast, college graduate women in developed Asian countries have had decreased rates of marriage, so much so that the term “Gold Misses” has been coined to describe them. This paper argues that the interaction of rapid economic growth in Asia combined with the intergenerational transmission of gender attitudes causes the “Gold Miss” phenomenon. I present a simple dynamic model then test its implications using U.S. and Asian data on marriage and time use.

JEL: J12, D10, Z10.

Keywords: Marriage, education, female labor force participation, cultural transmission.