How to Make Tough Decisions with Economist Emily Oster

By Trending Globally: Politics & Policy

Before the pandemic, Watson economist Emily Oster was best known for her books https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143125702/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=0143125702&pd_rd_w=o0PIp&pf_rd_p=887084a2-5c34-4113-a4f8-b7947847c308&pd_rd_wg=nyYAA&pf_rd_r=A50VNZBK88A7JP0TMT04&pd_rd_r=10ad1cb2-1806-4244-967d-8c462f1f603f&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExMTdLVjIyOVdWOFZZJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMDAzNTYxMzc2WUI2SkM1Mk9UMyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzgwNTU4M1NMR0U2TlJIQVNEQyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU= (Expecting Better) and https://www.amazon.com/Cribsheet-Data-Driven-Relaxed-Parenting-Preschool/dp/0525559272/ref=pd_bxgy_img_1/147-4390670-4840655?pd_rd_w=RS88E&pf_rd_p=c64372fa-c41c-422e-990d-9e034f73989b&pf_rd_r=PW3MBC3RP7GH6R10K0V7&pd_rd_r=49cfe815-4659-4c48-a11a-d956c5c47397&pd_rd_wg=aOW6t&pd_rd_i=0525559272&psc=1 (Cribsheet). They offered data-driven advice about pregnancy and raising young children, and they’ve become required reading for many young parents.  Her knack for synthesizing data into plain-language advice made her a natural fit for her next role: as one of the unofficial guiding voices behind school reopening plans in America this past year. The pandemic -- and Emily’s role in it -- have added special valence to her newest book, https://www.amazon.com/Family-Firm-Data-Driven-Decision-ParentData/dp/1984881752/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1628615092&sr=8-1 (The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years). Unlike her previous two books, this one is focused less on crunching data than on teaching readers how to make complex decisions when they don’t have all the data. As such, it’s probably her most universal book to date.  On this episode Sarah ’87 talks with Emily about The Family Firm, her experience in the spotlight during recent debates over school reopening, and how to make decisions that you can feel good about no matter the outcome.  You can purchase https://www.amazon.com/Family-Firm-Data-Driven-Decision-ParentData/dp/1984881752/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1628615092&sr=8-1 (The Family Firm) here.  You can learn more about Watson’s other podcasts https://watson.brown.edu/news/podcasts (here).

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