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An excellent analysis of child rearing economics,
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This review is from: Valuing Children: Rethinking the Economics of the Family (The Family and Public Policy) (Hardcover)
Professor Folbre maintains that economists and policy strategists should view child rearing as an investment in human capital instead of consumption goods. Unlike pets and livestock, child rearing will strongly affect economic development in various aspects.
To her, child rearing is a transfer of intergenerational income flows that "represents a cost to parents" (P.48). The whole investment process is also constrained and coordinated by contractual arrangements that channel the circular flows of resources between parents and children, parents and non-parents, family and non-family. The flow of resources involves market income and non-market work but the current national income accounting fails to measure the amount of time devoted to child rearing that can be very costly to parents (P.97) because they have to allocate time to care for their children that can reduce their time they devote to market income (P.185).
This book is an excellent analysis of child rearing economics. Mainstream economists view child rearing as a process of consumption in which parents can derive happiness. Professor Folbre develops a new thinking about child rearing economics and rather than viewing child rearing as outputs of resources, she maintains that child rearing represents indispensable inputs into the national economy. Policy strategists in the government are encouraged to undertake an intensive review of family policy packages that can align private and public resources in promoting efficient commitments to the next generation.
This book is highly recommended to readers who are interested in microeconomics and social policy.