The Economics of Christmas Shopping

Most of us have experienced the following: we get a gift at Christmas that is not going to be used - think Christmas pullovers, naff ties and useless (but momentarily-amusing) gadgets. What a waste! My own highlights of all the naff gifts which I've purchased was buying my sister a Mr Blobby video and my future wife a Peter Beardsley video (it is a wonder that she married me). Click here to read an op-ed by Cass Sunstein which applies insights from behavioural economics and our cognitive biases (such as the egocentric bias, focusing illusion, projection bias, spotlight effect, and cumulative-cost neglect) to Christmas shopping. Interested readers should give Joel Waldfogel's Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays as a Christmas present this year.

As this will be my last post of 2013, let me wish all my readers a prosperous 2014!


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