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The Economist’s Guide to Parenting

Season 1, Episode 2

Our second hour-long episode of Freakonomics Radio is called “The Economist’s Guide to Parenting.” (You can listen or download via the link above, or read a transcript here. This episode and four more hours will be airing on public-radio stations across the country this summer at various times, so check out your local station’s website. And you can subscribe to the Freakonomics Radio podcast on iTunes or via RSS.)

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking what the **** — economists? What can economists possibly have to say about something as emotional, as nuanced, as humane, as parenting? Well, let me say this: because economists aren’t necessarily emotional (or, for that matter, all that nuanced or humane), maybe they’re exactly the people we need to sort this through. Maybe.

6/16/11

The Economist’s Guide to Parenting

Think you know how much parents matter? Think again. Economists crunch the numbers to learn the ROI on child-rearing.

8/17/11
58:27

Do Baby Girls Cause Divorce?

Even American parents have a strong “son preference” — which means that a newborn daughter can be bad news for a marriage.

8/1/13
23:14

Think Like a Child

Season 5, Episode 14

On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: Why would anyone want to think like a child? Aren’t kids just sloppy, inchoate versions of us? Hardly. As Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt describe in their book Think Like a Freak, it can be very fruitful like a child.

And then: How can we get kids to eat healthier food? Educational messaging sounds like a good idea, but kids don’t respond to it. So why not bribe them?

1/22/16

Should Kids Pay Back Their Parents for Raising Them?

Season 6, Episode 2 This week on Freakonomics Radio: When one athlete turned pro, his mom asked him for $1 million. Our modern sensibilities tell us she doesn’t have a case. But does she? Plus, Steve Levitt talks about what he learned from his dad, good and bad. Next, Stephen Dubner shares one of the best lessons he ever learned, over a diner meal with . . .

9/16/16

Think Like A Child (Replay)

Season 6, Episode 7 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: Why would anyone want to think like a child? Aren’t kids just sloppy, inchoate versions of us? Hardly. As Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt describe in their book Think Like a Freak, it can be very fruitful to think like a child. And then, how can we get kids to eat healthier . . .

10/21/16

The Church of ‘Scionology’

Season 6, Episode 18 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: if you’ve built a successful business — be it a bakery, a carmaker or a newspaper — who continues the legacy when you retire? For many Fortune 500 companies, the answer is obvious: one (or more) of your children take the helm. But let’s get beyond the nepotism and silver spoons, real and imagined. Do the . . .

1/5/17

The Fracking Boom, a Baby Boom, and the Retreat From Marriage

Season 7, Episode 5 This week on Freakonomics Radio: over 40 percent of U.S. births are to unmarried mothers, and the numbers are especially high among the less-educated. Why? One argument is that the decline in good manufacturing jobs led to a decline in “marriageable” men. Surely the fracking boom reversed that trend, right? Stephen J. Dubner investigates. To find out more, check . . .

10/5/17

The Economist’s Guide to Parenting (Replay)

Season 7, Episode 44 Think you know how much parents matter? Think again. Economists crunch the numbers to learn the R.O.I. on child-rearing. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “The Economist’s Guide to Parenting.” You can subscribe to the Freakonomics Radio podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or elsewhere, or get the RSS feed.

7/5/18

The Data-Driven Guide to Sane Parenting

Humans have been having kids forever, so why are modern parents so bewildered? The economist Emily Oster marshals the evidence on the most contentious topics — breastfeeding and sleep training, vaccines and screen time — and tells her fellow parents to calm the heck down.

5/1/19
51:50

Season 8, Episode 41

Humans have been having kids forever, so why are modern parents so bewildered? The economist Emily Oster marshals the evidence on the most contentious topics — breastfeeding and sleep training, vaccines and screen time — and tells her fellow parents to calm the heck down. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “The . . .

6/13/19

Season 9, Episode 19

Humans have been having kids forever, so why are modern parents so bewildered? The economist Emily Oster marshals the evidence on the most contentious topics — breastfeeding and sleep training, vaccines and screen time — and tells her fellow parents to calm the heck down. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “The . . .

1/9/20

Season 11, Episode 10

In one of the earliest Freakonomics Radio episodes (No. 39!), we asked a bunch of economists with young kids how they approached child-rearing. Now the kids are old enough to talk — and they have a lot to say. We hear about nature vs. nurture, capitalism vs. Marxism, and why you sometimes don’t tell your friends that your father is an economist. . . .

11/4/21

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