The RBC isn’t meant to be a funny so skip this entry. The WSJ has published a funny piece by Joe Queenan. He writes; “Speaking from my own experience, I would argue that the best mothers are Italian-Americans, in part because they are warm and affectionate, but mostly because of the manicotti. When I was a kid, my own Irish-American mother was a terrible cook, so I would dutifully eat the remains of whatever luckless animal she’d just burned to a crisp, puke it up and then run down the street to Richie Giardinelli’s house, where his mother was always baking ziti or cooking up a fresh pot of meatballs or making manicotti.”
Queenan’s piece does touch on the important issue of the “accident of birth“. To maximize your chances in life, who do you wish was your mom? In a similar spirit as Bruce Sacerdote’s work, a researcher could use data for adopted children and ideally hope that adopted kids are randomly assigned to some Tiger Moms, to some Italian-American moms etc and then compare average outcomes for the kids across these different moms. Convincing?