The Latest Book From Russ Roberts, 9/8
My review of Wild Problems, by Russ Roberts.
suppose you read about a survey that shows that people aged 30-40 without children are on average happier than people that age with children. Does that tell you not to have children?
…you do not know whether their reasons for feeling happy or unhappy would apply in your instance. A couple might have decided not to have children because they prefer to be able to go skiing often. You might have different priorities. You may not even know how to ski.
Economists tend to want to sell books that help one make data-driven decisions. But sometimes the data don’t tell you what really matters. Wild Problems is a welcome corrective to that approach.
We are trying to put together a panel to discuss the book on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 21. Open to everyone. Stay tuned for details.
Maybe it's just me, but it seems as though it's always the no-kids side of this question that goes ga-ga over such studies. There's something exceedingly self-defeating about one's impulse to prove quite so empirically that one is happier than others.
I was very, very happy through my 30s and 40s childless, able to travel on a whim. Being childless allowed me to retire very early without having to worry about finances again in my life. However, now at 56, I now understand the true price of that previous happiness and realize what I missed out on. I am not unhappy now, but I understand fully that I would be happier now if I had children and grandchildren around me.