Bryan Caplan  

The Selfish Reason to Have More Kids: The Book?

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True story: While I was on vacation, I got a phone call from Good Morning, America, asking me to talk about my book, The Selfish Reason to Have More Kids. The main problem, I told them, is that a few paragraphs on my blog is not a book. I quickly added that I was still happy to be on the show, but, alas, the truth hurt.

Nevertheless, this incident did give me an idea: If Good Morning, America wanted to publicize this book when it didn't even exist, imagine how well the book would be received if I actually wrote it! It could popularize Simon, Kremer, and Landsburg, while fleshing out all the natalist notions I've entertained on the blog. If I was willing to put my twins' picture on the cover, who could resist?

Cool tie-in: Testimonials about all the babies I've talked people into having. It's running at two kids already; why not more?

Whaddaya think?


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COMMENTS (15 to date)
Floccina writes:

I like the idea, people get so much negatives about haveing children your book can bring some balance. Maybe you could work in some talk about how slow growth policies in many places push up the price of homes (see Edward Glaeser http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/glaeser/papers.html) and that impacts family formation and birth rates.

Mr. E writes:

You should have said "Sure, I'd be glad to" and then wrote it later that day and called some publishers saying you're booked on GMA already.

Franklin Harris writes:

Splendid! In fact, GMA could book a double-bill by inviting me on to talk about my "modest" non-existent book, "101 Irish Recipes for Children."

Dan writes:

Definitely write this! You have a rather unique perspective on this (for a guy; although Landsburg talks about the economics, you seem to have personal experience with advocating child-rearing). With the success of your other book it'll be no trouble to get it published.

Patri Friedman writes:

Hell, yeah!

If everyone else has more kids, it will make the world better for us. So go generate those positive externalities!

I was thinking recently that it would be cool to have a donation system for getting your friends to have kids. Basically, you put up X$, and they can see the total amount put up. And they get it when they have a kid.

Really, the site this is on should be generalized, allowing people to offer money for any condition being met, and with margins (so if you put in $100, you can make offers on $500 worth of things that won't happen often. When $100 of them happen, you get a margin call which says you have to put in more money, or your bids will be withdrawn).

But wouldn't encouraging cool people to have kids be a good application?

astrid writes:

definitely put the twins on the cover... :)

Karl Smith writes:

If you are looking for co-authors you know where to reach me.

TIm of Angle writes:

I'd buy it.

dearieme writes:

Are you ready to be sued for all the harm that these you-inpired children will cause? Every unwanted pregnancy, driving accident, murder, bankrupcy, .....?

Joe Marier writes:

Make it a graphic novel.

Scott Clark writes:

You should have told them about your actual book.
Then they could have had a segment called Good Morning, Irrational America.

Dezakin writes:

I notice on the original blog post, the notion of a discount rate is completely absent.

aaron writes:

There's also the Make Love and War argument.

Low population growth is viewed as a weakness by AQ types and is a very big part of why they attack us. Make the world safer by having more babies! In the interest of national security, we should create a tax holiday for households who have a baby in the 9-12 months following a terrorist attack.

Fight terrorism by making it clear that any violent thought will cause ten more western women to get pregnant.

Safety in numbers you know.

aaron writes:

Patri, is see a meeting of markets, one of potential parents looking for funding, and the other that pays out to those parents based on conditions being met or specific events happening.

Bryan Caplan writes:

Dezakin wrote:

I notice on the original blog post, the notion of a discount rate is completely absent.
You're on to something; like Tyler, I believe that discounting the future per se is a mistake. Diminishing marginal utility of wealth is one thing; discounting is another.

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