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Rational Choice Theory and the Family
Rational choice theory and the family

The very idea that the family and family members’ behavior can be understood as “rational” behavior may appear an oxymoron. Indeed, families are the site of extreme emotion, attachment, and even violence. Families are where many of the seemingly “irrational” decisions of life are made. For example, it is currently estimated that the costs of raising one child to the age of 18 is about a quarter of a million dollars. So we invest our time, energy, and money in our children so they can grow up and leave us. That is considered parental success. Yet, as an economic decision, how can this be considered a “rational” choice? Children are clearly an economic liability, ...

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