The Madeleine Brand Show for March 22, 2012

Adam Davidson breaks down the world of high-priced nannies

Group of Nannies in England

Eccie/flickr cc

A group of nannies carrying babies in strollers.

Welcome to the life of the elite high-end nanny: $180,000 a year salary, Christmas bonuses and a free apartment on New York's Central Park West. NPR's Adam Davidson discovered this world while he was searching for a nanny for his child and he documented the process for the New York Times.

His experience made him curious about the economics behind nannying. Do you get what you pay for? Nannies typically are hired at about $15-$18 an hour, but Davidson found out that a nanny increases her market value if she speaks fluent French (or, increasingly, Mandarin), can cook a four-course meal (and, occasionally, macrobiotic dishes), or, in one case, drive a Zamboni to clean a private ice rink.


Adam Davidson is the founder of NPR's "Planet Money", and he writes an economics column for The New York Times.

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