a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: The Macro and the Micro of Parenting

Fabrizio Zilibotti, Kevin Zollman, and Hanne Winarsky

Posted September 5, 2017

We tend to talk about tech and parenting through devices and artifacts — screen time, to code or not to code — but actually, there’s a bigger, macro picture at play there: game theory, economic incentives, culture, and more. So in this back-to-school episode of the a16z Podcast, two economists — Kevin Zollman, game theorist and philosopher at CMU and author of The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting; and Fabrizio Zilibotti, macroeconomist at Yale working on a book called Love, Money and Parenting — share their expertise on parenting through the lens of economics.

The hallway-conversation (with Hanne Tidnam) covers how these theories play out in practice — for example, when the kids are bickering in the back seat of the car — to how parents can balance altruism vs. paternalism when it comes to thinking about their kids’ future vs. their kids’ reality of living in the now. And then finally, how do different parenting styles, corporal punishment, education, and of course, technology, play a role in how we parent?