An economist tries to influence child behavior

I’m a new parent. This is interesting.

On setting policy in the home: “When it comes down to it, the policies need constant adjustment. It’s actually an issue of management rather than just setting the parameters correctly.”

On rugrats gaming the system: “Parents can design their own rules, but the scarce resource of a parent and governments, for that matter, too, is attention. Two-year-olds seem to have unlimited time to figure out how to use regulation to their benefit. That’s something they share with, say, bankers.”

On making incentives to get one kid to help the other kid potty train: “Well, I realized that if I helped my brother go to the toilet, I would get rewarded, too. So I realized that the more that goes in, the more comes out. So I was just feeding my brother buckets and buckets of water.”


Food for thought (non-tech post)

A winning presidential platform? Yeah right. Planet Money interviewed several left, right, center economists and made a list of six policy proposals on which they could all agree. Food for thought.

1. Eliminate mortgage interest deduction
2. Tax employer-provided health care
3. Eliminate corporate income tax
4. Eliminate all income, payroll tax. Replace with progressive consumption tax.
5. Tax carbon emissions, including gasoline.
6. Legalize marijuana

Summary here