Monday, April 5, 2010

Political(ly Incorrect) Economy

Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution points to an NBER paper that looks at the question of whether having daughters makes people more likely to hold conservative political views.

He takes time to highlight this passage, which he's not necessarily convinced of but says it requires "stones" to publish:
The conservative emphasis on family, traditional values and gender roles, and prolife anti-abortion sentiments all stress investment in children – for both men and women. Conservative policies mirror the genetic interests of women, writ large. They attempt to promote paternal investment in offspring. Further, they stress investment in conceived offspring – “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In short, Conservative policies support the genetic fitness of women by capitalizing on each pregnancy, reducing male promiscuity, and increasing paternal investment in children. Such policies may impinge on the freedom of parents’ immediate offspring, but they increase the expected number of grandchildren via daughters.
I do think we are in for a serious reconsideration of just what constitutes a policy that is in the interest of women. I suspect this will happen sooner rather than later and that people on both sides of the divide will have some of their deeply held beliefs challenged and in some cases upturned.

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