China markets in everything

by on December 14, 2012 at 8:24 am in Economics, Education | Permalink

Parents are asked to pay the fee so that their children at the Jiangdu District Shangmao Kindergarten will be hugged by teachers when they arrive in the morning and again when they leave, the Yangtze Evening Post reported.

It charged 80 yuan (US$12.80) per month per child.

Here is more, and for the pointer I thank Marco Haan.

1 8 December 14, 2012 at 8:30 am

Chinese people don’t hug, including parents and adult children. The article makes it sound like a money making scheme, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the explanation was incentive pay.

2 dead serious December 14, 2012 at 8:42 am

Here in the States, teachers are providing that service for free. And then some.

3 Mark Thorson December 14, 2012 at 9:34 am

That’s certainly the impression you get reading the Daily Mail.

4 Finch December 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

My children’s school has an outright ban on hugging, hand-holding, and anything like that, among the kids as well as kid-teacher. The kids there are aged roughly 5-10.

I’m not the only one who thinks this is a bit nuts.

5 zbicyclist December 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I’ll take the counterpoint here.

One of the issues with American grade schools is the fact that there are relative few male teachers at this level, and the consequent lack of male role models — particularly in households where there are no adult males present to act as positive role models.

But hugging by male teachers can be easily be misunderstood as inappropriate (or actually be inappropriate).

Plus there are kids (and I was one) who dislike being hugged, even though we realize that the adult meant well.

6 Nyongesa December 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm

How do you enforce a ban on 5 years old from holding hands, which is often a spontenous act among young children. Coercive anti-intimacy campaign?

7 Totio Filipov December 14, 2012 at 9:09 am

I suppose China is just a country where people don’t usually do that, so it is pretty normal teachers would charge for that. Plus, it is a good idea that they hug every child. I have never seen teacher do that anywhere.

8 Alexey December 14, 2012 at 9:35 am

I wonder how the kids who don’t get hugged feel about their parents.

9 Joe Horton December 14, 2012 at 10:01 am

The article says this has resulted in a backlash from the parents and that the school is being investigated. It was suggested that the school should refund the money to the parents.

10 collin December 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

Maybe this might be the best way to break up the teachers union, have them compete on hugs and after school time! I always assumed that is how corporate America was able to long term diminish union power which was to have more internal competing on wages and positions.

I always wondered how much bribery before the ~1970s within police forces and other public employees kept wages down in that sector for most of the 19th and 20th centuries.


11 So Much For Subtlety December 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm

It has been suggested to me in the past that in the old days the authorities were willing to over look a certain amount of sexual abuse of school children because it was a way of getting good quality teachers cheaply. The perks of the job making up for the low wages.

It is plausible I suppose.

12 dan1111 December 15, 2012 at 3:38 am

“It has been suggested to me”…”It is plausible I suppose.”

You really should have a higher standard of evidence for passing on outrageously offensive accusations.

13 londenio December 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

In the US you can sometimes buy hugs in the street for $1 (not everywhere). Can we say anything about real exchange rates with these two data points?

14 collin December 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Not really the same data points because if a child goes to school 20 days a month, then that is $.64 a hug. Volume Discounts!

15 Careless December 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Half that, it’s two hugs a day.

16 Bill December 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm


How much do you and Alex charge for a hug?

Probably a high reservation price, but perhaps the post is signalling something.


Markets in everything, as they say.

17 Marco Haan December 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm

What also intrigued me was the claim that this is actually some kind of field experiment. Looking forward to reading the paper.

18 Foo December 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Cool, will they hug me too everyday if I pay them $13/month?

Sounds like a great deal to be honest.

19 freethinker December 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Perhaps the school can charge more for hugs of longer duration. Incidentally, I am glad the parents are not being asked to pay for better grades!

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