The Downside of Gift Giving

During the holiday season, our gift giving might have less value than we expect because recipients engage in preference falsification.

How to Give a Better Gift

In somewhat unexpected ways, our opinion of a present can depend on whether the gift wrapping is sloppy or neat.

An Economist’s Gift Giving Dilemma

After an economist long ago told us that gift giving adds less to economic activity than the price of the present, a pro-gift giving group disagreed.

What We Might Not Want to Know About Gift Giving

Looking at the numbers from the National Retail Federation, we do not see the value of the unwanted gifts that might be subtracted from holiday spending.

The Gift You Didn’t Want

Although you’ll see that the Amazon reviews for How to Avoid Huge Ships are hilarious, it’s still one of those unwanted gifts that creates deadweight loss.

Almost Everything We Need To Know About Gift Giving

Looking at what we buy and what we return, we can ask an economist and a psychologist for some gift-giving advice about our holiday spending.

Why We Give The Wrong Gifts

When we receive presents that disappoint us, gift giving creates deadweight loss that diminishes the economic boost from holiday spending.

The Gift Giver’s Dilemma

When gifts are worth less to the recipient than the giver, the economy experiences deadweight loss and an “orgy of value destruction.”

Behavioral Economics: The Best Gifts

A gift can be worth much more or less than its price tag. It just depends on whether you are the giver or the receiver. One of the best gifts I have ever gotten was a book of car wash…

Holiday Dilemmas

Can doing good be bad? At food banks, the holiday season brings an avalanche of food from donors when the charity could purchase the food more cheaply and use volunteer time more wisely. As a result, charitable food donations misallocate…