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Insights on Twin Cities business and economics

Parents favor daughters over sons when dollars are short

Most parents say that they don’t favor one of their children over another, but, under certain conditions, they do.

In tough economic times, parents financially favor daughters over sons, according to researchers at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and Rutgers University Business School. Their study, forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research, found surveyed parents preferred to give a U.S. Treasury bond to a daughter, and bequeathed a greater share of their assets to female offspring in their will when they perceived economic conditions to be poor.
Recessions subconsciously lead parents to prefer girls over boys, according to Rutgers Professor  Kristina Durante, lead author of the study.
In one experiment, 629 participants read a news article that described the economy as either improving, getting worse, or neutral. They were asked to make a will dividing their assets between an imaginary son and daughter as well as assign one to a beneficial program. Those led to believe tough economic times were ahead, allocated nearly 60 percent of their available resources to the girl compared to a nearly 50/50 split between the two children when economic conditions were viewed as either neutral or prosperous.
“These findings in humans align well with the behavior of other animals,” said U of M Professor Vladas Griskevicius in a prepared statement. “When resources are scarce, parents prefer females because they have a larger reproductive payoff. Almost every female child will produce some offspring, but many male children end up having zero offspring.”
Another experiment in the paper explored the boundaries of age. The bias toward females was stronger as the children moved closer to reproductive age.

The study, “Spending on Daughters Versus Sons in Economic Recessions.” has implications for parents and businesses, the authors say. By being aware that they can unwittingly bias their spending toward specific children, parents can track spending to maintain equity.
“When we survey parents, it’s very clear they want to treat their children equally,” Redden said in a news release. “But if they’re relying on feelings… it’s very likely this bias is seeping in, especially when times are tougher and they don’t have money to do everything.”

Stratasys to help Dunwoody add 3D printing classes

As 3D printing and manufacturing become more mainstream in manufacturing and other industries there is now a growing need to for students to layer on new techniques to their education.

Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis which has been teaching and training manufacturing students for over 100 years is teaming with an industry pioneer to place greater emphasis on the new technology.

Dunwoody is partnering with Stratasys Ltd, a  provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions based in Eden Prairie and Rehovot, Israel, to add to Dunwoody's curriculum.

"I see additive manufacturing as an essential partner to the traditional manufacturing process," said E. J. Daigle, dean of Dunwoody's robotics and manufacturing department in the schools press release. "Not only do we want to give our students the tools to intertwine both, but we saw a need for buisnesses in the industry to further their education."

The technology is being adopted by everybody from automobile to medical device manufacturers who use the machines to quickly build and test prototypes or for custom manufacturing.  

Dunwoody will use a Fortus 400mc and two Fortus 250mc machines, both models made by Stratasys. The Fortus 400mc can use up to 11 thermoplastics to build layer-by-layer designs in a  16 in. X 14 in. X 16 in. build space.  The smaller Fortus 250mc machines can build designs in multiple colors in a 10 in. X 10 in. X 12 in. build space.


a Fortus 400mc from Stratasys

a Fortus 400mc from Stratasys

Jesse Roitenberg, education manager for Stratasys, said in the release "Manufacturers are in need of a trained and talented workforce that is up-to-date on how additive manufacturing can enhance traditional processes, and this partnership will begin that evolution in training."