Laura Birg, Anna Goeddeke, 24 December 2014

Christmas may be not so merry as we hope. Economists have argued that gift giving is an inefficient way to allocate resources, and it is widely suggested that Christmas brings a peak in prices and the number of suicides, or even disrupts the business cycle. This column discusses some conventional wisdom about Christmas and shows that economic research in fact runs counter to some of these common beliefs.

Joel Waldfogel, 23 December 2009

Joel Waldfogel of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his new book, Scroogenomics. They discuss his measurements of the deadweight loss of Christmas gift giving over time and across countries, the motivations that people have for giving, and his ideas for encouraging charitable giving at the holidays. The interview was recorded in London in December 2009.

Events

CEPR Policy Research