Merry Xmas to you all, and our apologies for not feeding the blog lately. I have been struggling to complete my Phd. and Damien kept quite busy on other things.
Now, some explanations on the title of this post. I love economics especially when it achieves disputed and funny conclusions. In that respect, J. Waldfogel's paper on the Deadweight loss of Christmas is a must-read. The paper, published in the American Economics Review in 1993, reaches the conclusion that Xmas presents are detrimental to general welfare. The underlying idea is that in a gift-giving system, "consumption choices are made by someone other than the final consumer". As Waldfogel explains, "a potentially important microeconomic aspect of gift-giving is that gifts may be mismatched with the recipients' preferences".