Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nanny Robots and Population Growth

Copyright, The New York Times Company

As any parent can attest, caring for young children is time-intensive. As a result, child care is one of the largest segments of the economy, at least when the nonmarket household sector is included.

Many parents treasure their children and feel the benefits outweigh the time and costs of having children. Many other adults decide not to have their own children, and the time costs are sometimes a factor in that decision. (To be sure, the influences are complex; a study by Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics, which suggests that women with higher IQs are less likely to have children, made waves in the blogosphere in recent days.)

The time costs of child care are also a factor limiting teenage pregnancy. Teenagers are encouraged to complete high school and higher levels of schooling, and students’ parents, teachers and counselors – if not the teenagers themselves – understand that teenage motherhood takes time away from schoolwork and thereby makes academic success less likely.

The world would be very different if children did not need so much time. More people, perhaps especially teenagers, would have children if children did not require so much time and attention, especially from their mothers. People who already have children despite the cost might have more of them if they expected each child to require less time.

As the time costs of children limit population growth, the population would be likely to grow more rapidly if those costs were somehow reduced, whether you think that such growth is a good thing or a bad one.

If each child required less parental time, you might expect parents – especially mothers – to use their time on other things, like work more outside the home, pursue their own schooling or leisure activities. But it is possible that people would spend more of their lives caring for children and less time on those other things because they would be having more children.

Wealthy people have already had some of these opportunities, because they can afford numerous baby sitters, nurses and tutors. But technological progress may one day reduce child-care costs for the general population.

Because robots and other machines take on a number of tasks formerly done by people – even playing chess – and are expected to do others like drive cars, perhaps we should expect that robots will some day take care of children, too.

People today may believe that it would be inhuman or immoral to leave young children at home alone with a robot or to drop them off at a day care center staffed by machines. But economic and technological changes of the past have already transformed child-rearing attitudes and practices: take test tube babies, working mothers, screen time, fast food or children with their own telephones.

There is little need to worry that machines will take over all aspects of child rearing. People will always have a comparative advantage over machines, even if machines could in principle be better at just about anything. For the same economic reason that the world can produce more by assigning some tasks to unskilled people and other tasks to talented people, people will be doing tasks that are difficult for machines relative to other tasks.

But perhaps robots will make parenting easier and thus more popular.

26 comments:

Jess Holmes said...

I don't know that I agree with machines completely taking over child care. And what about parent care, as in, adults that must take care of their parents once they become too old or sick to be self-sufficient any longer? There is a certain reward in both. After my mother had to start using medical canes and had a whole new host of medications and expenses, I invited her to live with me and my family. I have never regretted it once.

muzammal khan said...

As any mother or father can testify, looking after for youngsters is time-intensive. As a result, childcare is one of the biggest sections of the economic system. bubblegum casting

Yasir Khalid said...

The scams becomes noticeable on web page 36 where they observe that areas of wellness change increase minor tax prices.

Yasir Khalid said...

This bus adventure sccm to be relevant and interesting one. I think if there is touch of adventure in the tour bus Then nothing can stop the rip to be exceptional one. is bubblegum casting legitimate

Yasir Khalid said...

If each child required less parental time, you might expect parents – especially mothers – to use their time on other things, like work more outside the home, pursue their own schooling or leisure activities. But it is possible that people would spend more of their lives caring for children and less time on those other things because they would be having more children. Catering companies London

Yasir Khalid said...

Beginning next season, declares and the govt intend to make possibilities for family members to purchase wellness insurance policy coverage, separate from their companies, through insurance policy “exchanges” in the usa. Poker Online

Yasir Khalid said...

Machines that drive human workers into unemployment, rather than into another industry where the human workers will be productive, will serve only to drive down workers’ wages and thereby drive down the machine’s value. Machines that, instead, help people to be more productive will find it much harder to saturate their own market. web design manchester

Yasir Khalid said...

Memorial, was the winner of the Trafalgar 24 Play Creation Festival Jury Prize and had its Toronto premiere at the Next Stage Festival in 2013. Memorial was also seen as part of the Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver and has had subsequent readings at Half Moon Theatre in New York. http://www.chandlersca.co.uk/

Yasir Khalid said...

But the amount of the reward is commensurate with the amount of wages that people earn in the task. Buy Twitter Followers UK

Yasir Khalid said...

She had written several performs for the younger organization such as Imani Females Talk Out and The Search For The Africa Queen which was presented in Southern Front's On The Beachfront Event. Agen Casino

Yasir Khalid said...

Patiently waiting To Burst, a perform with 8 funny women figures that considered many problems in modern community through the use of funny and music. 20 off bed bath and beyond coupon

Yasir Khalid said...

The scams becomes noticeable on web page 36 where they observe that areas of wellness change increase minor tax prices. best e cig manchester

Yasir Khalid said...

Enough to provide a family with power to run one 19-inch color television, two portable stereo systems, ten 16W compact neon lights and three cell phone rechargers. lol rp gratuit

Yasir Khalid said...

There are monopolies that will never be prosecuted like inefficient light water reactor makers preventing molten salt reactors from becoming reality. Buy Twitter Followers UK

Yasir Khalid said...

A variety of sectors can expect big changes in worker wellness insurance policy coverage in the next season or two, while others will continue with business as usual. roofing contractors

Yasir Khalid said...

Wealthy people have already had some of these opportunities, because they can afford numerous baby sitters, nurses and tutors. But technological progress may one day reduce child-care costs for the general population. noahhealth.org

Yasir Khalid said...

I’ve wanted to hang out with Randy Hughson for years, just like in the old days back in Ottawa, but something always comes up. He just had a kid, and I’ve had kids, and I don’t want life to fade away with all I have to show for it is the product of my imagination. Film streaming

muzammal khan said...

You invest a few ‘good’ individuals who can deal with interference as it happens, by muting, tossing, apart from, or changing content as need be. Download drivers

Yasir Khalid said...

The man said, “I can comprehend you offering a aspect of it to charity, but all of it”. https://www.rebelmouse.com/metaldetectorsonline

muzammal khan said...

You'll quit the beauty of stay songs, and you might well get a amount of cheesiness--an worrying variety of marriage. look at here now

Yasir Khalid said...

The scams becomes noticeable on web page 36 where they observe that areas of wellness change increase minor tax prices. Form 990n

mim shams said...

When times get durable and you want extra funds, a Title Loan is additionally the foremost effective quite loan for you. You get the money you need; you auto title loan rates costa mesa retain your motor vehiclemotive vehiclemobile that we've got a bent to easily hold the title to the automobile till the loans is paid all.

Yasir Khalid said...

The ACA will improve the nationwide regular minor work income tax amount about 12 times more (sic) than the 2006 “Romneycare” health change law improved the Boston regular amount. Click Here

Yasir Khalid said...

This catalogue contains plays by our members that have been professionaly produced and are available for purchase. nail art designs

Yasir Khalid said...

The scams becomes noticeable on web page 36 where they observe that areas of wellness change increase minor tax prices. energy labels

Yasir Khalid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.