These are the headlines of a New York Times article covering the research of Fabrizio Zilibotti, Professor at the Department of Economics, and Matthias Doepke, Professor at the Northwestern University USA. Since time immemorial, parents have struggled with the question of how best to raise their childern. Much of the popular literature states that by adopting the "wrong" parenting style, parents are making a mistake that is due to a lack of information. Doepke and Zilibotti are taking a different track by asking how economic conditions affect parenting and showing that the choice of parenting style is driven by incentives.
Both fathers themselves, come to the following conclusion: Regarding permissive versus authoritative parenting, the evolution of the return to education is what matters. If the march towards higher inequality continues, the current era will mark the beginning of a sustained trend towards ever pushier parenting. If, on the other hand, today’s inequality trends prove to be an aberration and we return to the less unequal times of the 1970s, future children (and their parents) will be able to enjoy a relaxed childhood once more.