Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Nature vs. Nurture and Adoption

As a parent of both biological and adopted children, I found this posting at The Marginal Revolution fascinating. Before we adopted our daughter, I did quite a bit of reading about adoption. One source said that parents of adopted children believe that genes are much more important in influencing how children turn out than do parents who have no adopted children.

Another piece that was published long ago by the Child Welfare League indicated that the best predictor of how well an adoption would turn out was how well the child matched up with the adopting parents pre-adoption image of the child (i.e. did the parents get what they wanted or were they forced to accept second or third choice because of the shortage of adoptable infants?). In fact, when that study was conducted, one couldn't reject the hypothesis that the effective marginal product of social workers placing adoptable infants was zero or negative.

I have more on that topic in my piece, "the Social Costs of Adoption Agencies" that appeared in International Review of Law and Economics 6 (1986): 189-203. I also have a short piece (available here) on "adoption" in the New Palgrave Dictionary of Law and Economics (1998).
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