Bulk Discount

June 15th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized

baby-moneyI just caught up with this WSJ report on the cost of a raising a child from last week. Yes, I know, there seem to be new cost-calculations for the price of parenting every week. Given the fact that we’ve got major meltdowns on Wall Street and an energy sector in complete crisis, it does seem odd that entire armies of economists are working to outdo each other’s latest price-of-diaper calculations.

And yet, I’m a little bit addicted. Each report gives me some fresh reason to regret the past and fear the future. This time around, the takeaway is that we are idiots for not having many, many more children. From the report:

For families with many kids, however, there is some good news: The more children you have, the less it costs to raise each one. These economics of scale deliver 22% savings per child for families with three or more children. That is because kids can share a bedroom, hand down clothing and toys to each other, and consume food purchased in bulk quantities, reducing costs. Also, private schools and child-care centers may offer sibling discounts. The data is compiled based on spending by 11,800 two-parent families and 3,350 single parents with at least one child under 18 living at home.

Okay, so you can’t argue with their sample size. It’s large. And according to their calculations, the savings only start to kick in after two kids. We haven’t quite snipped it like PetCobra, so theoretically we could press on for a third kid. But that 22 percent discount they’re promising? Not enough. Not nearly enough. If I’m going to sign up for another year of sleeplessness and 2+ years of changing diapers, someone is actually going to have to pay me. European-style. That’s it.

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