Skill-Biased Diaper Change

by Kieran Healy on June 28, 2008

Megan McArdle asks,

Why don’t babysitters make much money?

And answers,

Supply and demand. Supply side: it’s not skilled labor. It make take talent (like the patience of a saint), but the actual skills of doing laundry, spooning formula into one’s mouth, and changing a diaper are not hard to learn.

Taking care of the rugrats might not be brain surgery, although it does raise some interesting questions — not pursued in the post — about how much, net of skill considerations, you should be willing to pay someone not to drop, starve or otherwise neglect your child. But really I just wanted to say that if Megan is ever in need of a child-care provider, I hope she’ll take care to pick someone skilled enough not to be in the habit of spoon-feeding themselves formula. Or, indeed, of spoon-feeding it to the baby.