[EconTalk] Emily Oster on Cribsheet

Emily Oster on Cribsheet

29/04/2019 by EconTalk: Russ Roberts

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=69388847
Episode: http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2019/Ostercribsheet.mp3

Economist and author Emily Oster of Brown University talks about her book Cribsheet with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Oster explores what the data and evidence can tell us about parenting in areas such as breastfeeding, sleep habits, discipline, vaccination, and food allergies. Oster often finds that commonly held views on some of these topics are not well supported by the evidence while on others, the evidence appears decisive. Oster thoughtfully explores the challenges of using empirical work and balances our sometimes ignorance with common sense.

Listen Date: 2019-05-23


  • Takeaways:
    • Breastfeeding is a little better than formula but not dramatically better
    • There’s no evidence either way for whether crib sleeping or co-sleeping is better
    • Vaccines are unambiguously safe
    • Delaying exposure to things increases the likelihood of developing allergies to them
    • Reading to your kids is fun, but because it’s so heavily correlated with income and class; it’s difficult to say if that by itself is a driver for success
  • Once again, the discussion of post-partum depression left me feeling horrified at pregnancy and wondering why anybody would do that to themselves


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