From the comments — Marginal Revolution

As opposed to what, anecdotal effect? Fantasy effect? When you’re dealing with studies on people, where there are so many variables you can’t control, statistical evidence is the only kind you have.

If, on the other hand, what you really meant to say was “zero average effect,” then sure, it’s possible that tiger parenting leads to no effect on the average outcome, but produces a higher variance. In that case, if there’s a real benefit to being out on the tail (perhaps because the average sucks), then tiger parenting might make sense. That’s basically what Albert Ling is saying in the comment that Tyler quoted. However, lets keep in mind that there is no evidence that tiger parenting really does produce higher variance; it’s just a hypothesis. Moreover, it’s a hypothesis that is motivated largely by a desire to salvage the proposition that parenting style really can affect outcomes, which makes it a little suspect.



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