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.”

Transcript
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