In a new IZA World of Labor article authors Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti find that parents now engage in much more intensive parenting styles compared to a few decades ago.
Today’s parents supervise their children more closely, spend more time interacting with them, help much more with homework, and place more emphasis on educational achievement. More intensive parenting has also led to more unequal parenting: highly educated parents with high incomes have increased their parenting investments the most, leading to a growing “parenting gap” in society. These trends can contribute to declining social mobility and further exacerbate rising inequality.
There are concerns that today’s closely supervised children have less room to develop independence and creativity and that the number of adolescents suffering from anxiety and depression has risen. In addition, the rising parenting gap can hinder social mobility.
Some of these negative repercussions could be avoided by policies that push back against rising inequality and unequal opportunities.
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