Freakonomics Chapter 5 Analysis

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Freakonomics Chapter 5: What Makes A Perfect Parent Particularly, children can easily be influenced by the actions of their parents. In fact, these actions can be deemed positive or negative. Authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner examine cultural, demographic, and environmental variables that impact the performance of children. The art of parenting assists in forming a child’s personality. Behavior, and their way of thought, which can be crucial to the child himself. Not only does a parent’s actions influence their child, but a certain environment can assist in shaping the child’s character. A negative environment, such as the enforcement of child abuse, can allow the child to have a higher risk of experiencing depression than those…show more content…
The chapter begins with a situation: Would you rather allow your child to visit a friend’s house who owns a gun or a pool? The majority of parents would perceive that a household with a gun is deemed dangerous. Therefore, a household with a pool would be a huge preference. However, parents are not able to conclude that this is the most dangerous choice. Both authors encourage the reader to understand that most parents are driven by incentives. Each parent yearns the best for their child, but choices that seem correct and worthy are not always wise as most individuals distinguish. The author’s introduction to this argument can allow readers to perceive the incentives of each parent, the true difference between correct and incorrect. Within their approach on the essence of parenting, Levitt and Dubner indicate, “This leads a lot of parents to spend a lot of their parenting energy simply being scared. The problem is that they are often scared of the wrong things” (149). Both authors are indeed correct of each parent’s motif: to protect and guard their child from experiencing negative situations. Incentives permit parents to contribute greatly for their child– providing a safe and healthy environment. Fear acts as a boundary between the parent and child, which prevents the child from pursuing certain deeds. However, one’s…show more content…
Similarly, parenting can simply act as an independent variable, while the child represents the dependent variable. Levitt and Dubner utilize this chapter to establish their credibility from an economic viewpoint and to analyze how different scenarios pertaining to parenting can reveal a theme to the reader: incentives matter. Addressing factors including child behavior, family income, school environment, children’s exam scores, biological relations, and the enforcement of education on children permits both authors to inform the reader how the combination of asymmetric information and fear can lead to inefficient outcomes. Precisely, within their distribution of different scenarios, Levitt and Dubner indicate, “Molly is far more likely to die in a swimming accident at Imani’s house than in gunplay at Amy’s. But most of us are, like Molly’s parents, terrible risk assessors” (150). Both authors denote how a parent’s fabrication of one idea, due to influence of the media, allow other parents to rely on such information, which does not fully guarantee safety for a child. Honesty is present within the author’s argument, due to the idea that parents possess different incentives towards certain situations without perceiving the environment. Both authors imply, “In a given year, there is one
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