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Parenting as Selfishness

Megan McArdle wonders if children's greatest gift to parents is to help us not be selfish jerks:

I'm wondering if a parent's happiness is overrated. I've been trying to make sense of the evidence. Will Wilkinson offered us a critique of GMU economist Brian Caplan's argument for additional children as a means of self-satisfaction, which I think was spot on given evidence that parents report lower happiness than non-parents. But then there are those who claim that children increase happiness when they are born into two-parent homes where they are wanted. And there are also those who claim we have to look at twins, because maybe it's inherent psychological factors causing the happiness, which in turn causes the baby-making.
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