Sunday, March 13, 2011

Parentonomics. For kids?

That was the title of an email I received this morning from Austin Frakt, an economics professor at BU:

Reading your book, Parentonomics, now. Where appropriate for my 3.5 &a 6.5 year olds I read them lightly edited passages. They love it! They can relate to the experiences and struggles with their parents over food, sleep, etc. I then ask them questions like, "Did the daddy and mommy do the right thing?" "What else might they have done?" "Did this ever happen to you?" And so on.  
It's a big hit! 
Ever consider turning it into a book that parents can share with their kids in precisely this way? Why can't children learn about economics concepts in the same fashion? An interesting idea, I think.
Can children learn economics from parenting decisions? Of course, I am precisely the wrong person to answer this question at least insofar as the book might be of help. My kids at various times have picked up the book and then told me that it was pretty boring because they already knew all that. They are referring to the stories and, to be fair, they did live them. 

As a book for kids? That is something that has never occurred to me and I'll have to ponder it further. (If there is any publisher out there for which this idea gels, call me).

But Austin's experience was interesting and perhaps it may work if you want to teach your kids some economics. If you have similar experiences, feel free to let us know in the comments.

While I am at it, anyone interested in health economics should check out Austin's blog, The Incidental Economist. It's on my Google Reader. In fact, I enjoy Austin's musings outside of health economics as much as his commentary on health policy.