Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays (Book Review) - Indian Journal of Economics and Business

Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays (Book Review)

By Indian Journal of Economics and Business

  • Release Date - Published: 2010-12-01
  • Book Genre: Business & Personal Finance
  • Author: Indian Journal of Economics and Business
Our rating: 5/5 stars

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Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays (Book Review) Indian Journal of Economics and Business read online review & book description:

Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays, Joel Waldfogel. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-691-14264-7, pp. xii, 174, hardcover. In Scroogenomics Joel Waldfogel ties together his nearly two decade research program into the wastefulness of gift giving at the holidays. (1) The major focus is on gift giving during Christmas in the U.S., but Waldfogel points-out that wasteful gift giving is not confined to the U.S. Scroogenomics is chock-full of interesting evidence (backed by data sources) and humorous anecdotes that illustrate the author's arguments. The book begins with a review of survey data that shows gift recipients (overall) tend to value noncash gifts at less than the price of purchasing the gifts, which paints an initial bleak picture of the holiday gift-giving season as a wasteful exercise in value destruction. This exercise is not a contemporary phenomenon, nor is it likely to vanish in the near future. However, Waldfogel notes that the recent rise in the popularity of "gift cards," which allows a recipient to apply the value of the gift card towards the purchase of an item(s) of his/her choice at participating stores, offers an opportunity to greatly reduce the inefficiencies of gift giving at the holidays. I briefly review the highlights of each chapter below.

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