Scroogenomics

Today’s Washington Times contains my review of Joel Waldfogel’s book Scroogenomics: Why You shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays.

Here’s a taste:

“‘A cribbage board? You shouldn’t have,’ we tell our mothers-in-law. Indeed.” In those three short sentences, Joel Waldfogel describes the origin of what retailers call “return season” and what consumers call “the week after Christmas.”

Mr. Waldfogel has a point here. By his calculations, such gifts cost the U.S. economy about $85 billion in waste. That’s more than 124 countries’ entire gross domestic product, by the way.

One response to “Scroogenomics

  1. I’ve got a nice post on why the thesis of this book is Junk Science.

    http://floodingupeconomics.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/junk-science-the-scroogenomics-of-prof-waldfogel/

    Your review doesn’t seem to really critically examine his thesis at all (I pick out three easy reasons why its false), so I’d be interested as to whether you really think that all gifts loose value (because they’re not the market optimum choices blah blah) or if the lack of comment was due to the confines of a book review.

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