Thinking about Christmas may fill your head with visions of sugar plums and your heart with the warm fuzzies, but let’s level for a minute: As an institution that is supposed to match people with the stuff they want, Christmas is atotal loser. In fact, when you crunch the numbers, the winter holidays result in billions of dollars in value destruction every year. How’s that for a bottom line?
In SCROOGENOMICS, economist Joel Waldfogel looks at decades of retail spending data to make the case that buying gifts destroys wealth and happiness—and in many cases it would be better to not buy presents for the holidays at all. So put down that credit card and think before you use money you don’t have to buy things that recipients don’t really want. SCROOGENOMICS will point you to solutions that can help stop wasteful gift spending and make holiday giving a force for good. Happy—and efficient—holidays!