What’s in it for me? Get a crib sheet to pass one of the ultimate tests of adult life: having a baby.

To avoid the hard work of rote memorization, many students resort to using a crib sheet: a small piece of paper where they write down information that will be useful to them on their exams. That information could range from particular facts to general principles about the subject on which they’re being tested. Hidden in their hands, the resulting crib sheets provide the student with a simple but effective technique for cheating their way to academic success. Ethics aside, it’s a rather nifty trick.

If only it were so easy to pass the tests that adult life sends our way – especially the most difficult ones, such as giving birth to children and raising them through the first few years of their lives. A crib sheet for parenting – now that would be useful! Imagine having a set of guiding principles at your fingertips, ready to be applied to any tough parenting decisions you need to make.  

Well, economist Emily Oster has exactly that, and these blinks will give you the crib sheet to her crib sheet! But wait a minute – a crib sheet about parenting based on the ideas of an economist? Not a pediatrician or a child psychologist? That sounds like an odd combination. But it actually makes a lot more sense than you might think.

In these blinks, you’ll learn

  • how economic reasoning can help you to make difficult parenting decisions;
  • why parenting advice is often informed by questionable research; and
  • what to look for when searching for the most reliable research.