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An Economist On Christmas…

December 25th, 2013 · 3 Comments
Behavioral Econ · Just For Fun

First off, happy holidays!

I am currently visiting my parents in Florida…

…and apparently the holidays are a time for tweeting:

I’m keeping up with my RSS reader over the holidays, and I came upon this gem:

I usually look at this sort of thing and roll my eyes, except that I came upon this after I had already bookmarked the following links:

Sigh. If you want more, here are some xmas links from The Economist.

Lastly, in a stunning display of behavioral economics taking over the world, economists seem to be coming around on the idea of gift giving:

Historically, these opinions have generally been viewed as atypical- for example, economist Joel Waldfogel wrote a paper called “The Deadweight Loss of Christmas” and a book called Scroogenomics that explain why giving gifts rather than cash leads to economic inefficiency (because you’re likely paying money for something that the receiver wouldn’t buy at that price). That said, once you consider that people care about warm fuzzies and aren’t perfect utility maximizing economic robots, a much stronger argument for gift giving emerges.

You can see what the economists specifically think regarding gift giving in the poll comments, and some of the musings are, well, exactly what you would expect from economists…so much so, in fact, that the quotes make hilarious holiday cards. For example:

Now I’m curious as to whether economists have also come around regarding New Year’s celebrations or whether they still think that calendars just lead to inefficient choice bracketing.

Update: This is also pretty hilarious.

Tags: Behavioral Econ · Just For Fun

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