Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids

(Basic Books, 2011)

Book Forum
May 25, 2011 4:00PM
Auditorium/Wintergarden
Featuring the author Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics, George Mason University; with comments by Charles Murray, W. H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; moderated by Adam Schaeffer, Policy Analyst, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute.

Bryan Caplan tells us in his new book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, that parents today are overinvesting in each child they have, and consequently deciding to have fewer children. He argues that twin and adoption studies show nature is far more important than nurture, and the “tiger mom” approach to parenting has very little impact on the life outcomes of children. So relax, and have more children!

Even Caplan recognizes there is a large environmental impact on life outcomes, but he claims families don’t matter. Why, and what does?

And if families don’t matter, what are the implications for libertarian prescriptions in public policy? How might the scientific debate over soft genetic determinism and “parenting-lit” impact policy debates about population and economic growth, health care policy, or education reform?

Join us to hear Murray and Caplan discuss the place of parents and families in society and how these issues inform public policy.