ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis

Friday, October 14, 2022 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT
Vernon Smith Hall (formerly Metropolitan Building)

ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

The ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory of the Fall 2022 semester will feature:

Nate G. Hilger

Author

The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis

 

 

Abstract

Few people realize that raising children is the single largest industry in the United States. Yet this vital work receives little political support, and its primary workers—parents—labor in isolation. If they ask for help, they are made to feel inadequate; there is no centralized organization to represent their interests; and there is virtually nothing spent on research and development to help them achieve their goals. It’s almost as if parents are set up to fail—and the result is lost opportunities that limit children’s success and make us all worse off. In The Parent Trap, Nate Hilger combines cutting-edge social science research, revealing historical case studies, and on-the-ground investigation to recast parenting as the hidden crucible of inequality.

Parents are expected not only to care for their children but to help them develop the skills they will need to thrive in today’s socioeconomic reality—but most parents, including even the most caring parents on the planet, are not trained in skill development and lack the resources to get help. How do we fix this? The solution, Hilger argues, is to ask less of parents, not more. America should consider child development a public investment with a monumental payoff. We need programs inspired by Medicare—call them Familycare—to drive this investment. To make it happen, parents need to become an interest group that can wield its political power on behalf of children—who will always be the largest bloc of disenfranchised people in this country.

The Parent Trap exposes the true costs of our society’s unrealistic expectations around parenting and lays out a profoundly hopeful blueprint for reform.

 

For more information about the Seminar Series, please visit the Seminar Schedule homepage.

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