Stories | November 25, 2009

Scrooge’s return

Two economists that eZonomics follows, Tim Harford and Chris Dillow, have written about the book Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays.

The original eZonomics coverage of the book by economist and university professor Joel Waldfogel noted the book's advice that gift givers could ask recipients what they want to receive to get the biggest economic bang for their gift giving buck. Another option was to give cash, a way to eliminate wastage from recipients underestimating how much had been spent on gifts.

It's the thought that counts 
In the Financial Times, columnist Tim Harford wrote about the finding in Scroogenomics that Christmas spending seemed to be a "somewhat grudging activity".

"When we become twice as rich, we spend less than twice as much on Christmas," wrote Harford. He said Waldfogel acknowledged gift giving also produced a "warm glow" and concluded: "If it is the thought that counts, a first step towards a happier Christmas is to spend less, and think more."

And makes happy memories 
Chris Dillow, who writes for the Investors Chronicle and eZonomics, blogged on his Stumbling and Mumbling website that "we quickly forget bad gifts, but remember good ones forever". He questions the theory about getting best bang for buck on cash gifts: "Would we have such happy memories if we'd received the more efficient gift of money?" 

eZonomics team
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