No commodity is safe is this economy--even teeth. According to a telephone survey conducted by Visa, Inc., the Tooth Fairy has been tightening her belt during the recession. Kids today receive an average of $2.60 per lost baby tooth, down from $3.00 in 2010. That's a relatively substantial 14 percent drop.
This offbeat statistic has been bouncing around the blogosphere, taken as another piece of anecdotal evidence of the far-reaching effects of the recession and perhaps as a distraction from scarier numbers. But Kevin Drum at Mother Jones points out $2.60 is still substantially higher than what he and many other commentators got when they were kids, even when inflation is taken into account.
Fair enough, but there's still one unanswered question: Why does Visa care about the Tooth Fairy's payouts? Apparently the study was done as part of Visa's effort to educate kids on money management.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.