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May 25, 2022

Today, we revisit our previous Episode 20 with Professor Emily Oster in honor of her being named one of Time’s most influential people of 2022. We are so thrilled that Emily is receiving recognition for her important work supporting parents by providing them with information on valid research, evidence based practices and economics-driven decision making.  

In this episode, we speak with Emily about the impetus for her third book, The Family Firm, in which she discusses how to use data driven approaches to parenting school age children. With school age children, at times, there is not as much research available to drive parenting decisions. This can make some of us less at ease as we want to turn to the research for advice on best practices. Emily though lays out a four F framework in terms of thinking about when faced with parenting decisions related to your older school children how you can make thoughtful decisions in the face of what is often very limited data. In our discussion, we delve more into the importance of realistic options and, at times, reconsidering decisions that we have made. Additionally, we discuss the role of values in decision making around parenting.

Emily is a Professor of Economics at Brown University and the author of Expecting Better, Cribsheet, and The Family Firm. She holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard. Prior to being at Brown she was on the faculty at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Emily’s academic work focuses on health economics and statistical methods. She is interested in understanding why consumers do not always make “rational” health choices — why do people not eat a fully healthy diet, or pursue all recommended preventative health behaviors? Her work also concerns methods for learning causal effects from observational data. 

You can find more information on Emily Oster, her books and research, and join her bi-weekly mailing list at You can also connect with Emily via Twitter and Instagram @ProfEmilyOster