Economists are a gloomy lot, and no less so at Christmas. Whereas most people see gift-giving as a source of joy, economists fret about the potential for misallocated resources. One Scrooge-ish study found that, on average, $100 spent on gifts was worth the same as around $85 of cash spent directly by the recipient. But are there reasons to believe that over time, Christmas is becoming more efficient?
On this week’s podcast, hosts Soumaya Keynes, Mike Bird and Alice Fulwood hear from the father of Scroogenomics, Joel Waldfogel, about why Christmas may be improving for economists—even if it means fewer presents. And they speak to The Economist’s Ore Ogunbiyi about the nightmare after Christmas for retailers.
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