June 03, 2009

Freakonomics: Summer Break


What are teenagers going to do this summer?

I'm not sure there are going to be any jobs our there for them. So, let's play a Freakonomics-inspired game of predicting some economic results that will stem from this.

I'll start. With more and more teenagers looking to self-entertain themselves this summer, I predict that more will experiment with sex than usual. And with less personal economic resources and with parents with less economic resources, I predict that this summer will likely result in one of the highest abortion rates ever.

5 comments:

Meghan said...

Woah this is pretty dark, especially for your birthday (Happy bday by the way!) :)

I thought you were going to predict a rise in teen pregnancy . . .

Anonymous said...

I don't agree.

If your point is that resources are low, I don't know where the money would come from for an abortion, which is a cost issue for young people.

And if, as you say, many of them have parents who are out of work, if anything they'll probably get more family time than usual.

I don't know that this summer's job market will affect teenage sex and pregnancy rates in any way, but if it does, I don't think this is how.

Eric Olsen said...

thanks meghan! and i know, sorry. i just knew someone was going to go there, so i jumped in first.

anonymous, i'd have to think the cost issue of HAVING a child is going to far outweigh the cost of NOT, both short- and long-term.

i brought the parents into the equation, because if they come in, i think they'll be more likely to encourage abortion than under better economic circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Really? The recession is pushing people from one side of the abortion fence to the other, just like that? Especially parents, about their own children?

And sure, a one-time cost is easier to come up with than a lifetime of additional expenses. But we're still assuming that the recession is making teenagers MORE promiscuous to begin wtih. That's the part of the argument I'm still not on board with, because I still don't see why.

For this to be a true statistical surge, as you predicted, a lot of people would have to change their behavior and their beliefs, really quickly. I'm trying to imagine my parents pushing me in that direction when I was a teenager, and it's not working in my head. Because it's not what they would've wanted, and I cannot imagine a recession that would've changed that about them.

Eric Olsen said...

well, these "predictions" are all hypothetical obviously.

the prediction of the recession making kids more promiscuous stems from the belief that there are going to be many less kids unemployed, and therefore, bored. Just like the stories of whenever there's been a major regional power outage, how the birthing rates at hospitals approximately 9 months have been statistically MUCH higher.

As far as people jumping to the other side of the fence on the abortion issue, I agree with you that those firmly on one side or the other, wouldn't. But, I think that there are many who view it is a gray area. And the lack of personal funds might help sway them.