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Publisher's Summary

The instant New York Times best seller!

“Emily Oster dives into the data on parenting issues, cuts through the clutter, and gives families the bottom line to help them make better decisions.” (Good Morning America)

“A targeted mini-MBA program designed to help moms and dads establish best practices for day-to-day operations." (The Washington Post)

From the bestselling author of Expecting Better and Cribsheet, the next step in data driven parenting from economist Emily Oster.

In The Family Firm, Brown professor of economics and mom of two Emily Oster offers a classic business school framework for data-driven parents to think more deliberately about the key issues of the elementary years: school, health, extracurricular activities, and more.

Unlike the hourly challenges of infant parenting, the big questions in this age come up less frequently. But we live with the consequences of our decisions for much longer. What's the right kind of school and at what age should a particular kid start? How do you encourage a healthy diet? Should kids play a sport and how seriously? How do you think smartly about encouraging children's independence? Along with these bigger questions, Oster investigates how to navigate the complexity of day-to-day family logistics.

Making these decisions is less about finding the specific answer and more about taking the right approach. Parents of this age are often still working in baby mode, which is to say, under stress and on the fly. That is a classic management problem, and Oster takes a page from her time as a business school professor at the University of Chicago to show us that thoughtful business process can help smooth out tough family decisions.

The Family Firm is a smart and winning guide to how to think clearly - and with less ambient stress - about the key decisions of the elementary school years.

Parenting is a full-time job. It's time we start treating it like one.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Emily Oster (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“A targeted mini-MBA program designed to help moms and dads establish best practices for day-to-day operations.... Because this is an Oster book, there’s data scattered everywhere — on the development of reading skills by age, on the concussion risks of playing soccer, on the benefits of dipping Brussels sprouts in sweetened cream cheese. It’s all presented in the breezy, skeptical style that’s made Oster’s work a must-read for parents who don’t have the time to investigate Finnish studies about integrating extracurriculars into the school day.” (The Washington Post)

“Emily Oster dives into the data on parenting issues, cuts through the clutter, and gives families the bottom line to help them make better decisions. Her books on pregnancy and toddlers skyrocketed her to parenting-world fame, and now she’s back, crunching the numbers on topics that keep parents with school-age kids up at night.” (Good Morning America)

“Oster is a self-described data nerd, a delightful contrarian who dared question the status quo, shush the shamers and tell parents what made sense.” (The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about The Family Firm

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  • Kim Wilmath
  • 2021-08-19

PDF is missing

Great resource… and I love her narration… but where is the pdf she’s talking about?

10 people found this helpful

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  • Vince
  • 2021-08-18

Where is the PDF?

I recently started this book and am enjoying it. I appreciate both the grounding in data, the explanations of the (many) limitations of that data, and author's openness to different parenting values and decisions.

I also like that the author narrated this version - after listening to the audiobook of Cribsheet (usually while folding laundry...so much laundry), I had her voice as totally different in my head - it was so weird to hear her on a podcast.

But one issue with the audiobook - she references a PDF, but it's not available on Audible. I'm hoping this gets fixed soon!

10 people found this helpful

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  • John G
  • 2021-09-05

Missing PDF

The book is great, but audible isn’t giving me the promised companion pdf for this book.

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  • Lisa Feldman Stelzer
  • 2021-08-26

Why Isn't Everyone Doing This!?

The ideas put forth in this book are so perfect for any family, that it makes me wonder why I didn't thing of this on my own. I love the time and research Emily Oster put into each topic and am excited to ask my husband to listen to it as well so we can create our own Family Firm.

I am also having trouble finding the PDF mentioned in the book. Instructions on how to access that piece would be most helpful!

-Lisa

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-09-08

Nice framework for decision making

My wife and I both listened to this book. Insightful on many topics. The steps and framework for Devi on making are clear and easy to follow and apply. I have recently started utilizing Trello on her recommendation in the book. I particularly liked her analysis on CBT and it’s extremely beneficial effect for anyone.

I found the author would choose to talk about some topics that did not have conclusive data and then present them as if something more substantial could be extrapolated from the inconclusive data.

One question I have for the author is: what role has social media and cell phone and smart phone played in depression,suicide, and the completely overwhelmed mental health system since the advent of smart phones and social media? Maybe not causation but I would love to have had a renowned economist who is talking about the decision making process to give kids smart phones and social media to at least say whether or not the above question is at least relevant or not.