Scroogenomics : why you shouldn't buy presents for the holidays

by Waldfogel, Joel, 1962-

Format: Print Book ©2009.
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
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Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 339.47 WALDFOGEL
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  339.47 WALDFOGEL
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 339.47 W14
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  339.47 W14
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 339.47 WAL
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  339.47 WAL

Christmas is a time of seasonal cheer, family get-togethers, holiday parties, and-gift giving. Lots and lots--and lots--of gift giving. It's hard to imagine any Christmas without this time-honored custom. But let's stop to consider the gifts we receive--the rooster sweater from Grandma or the singing fish from Uncle Mike. How many of us get gifts we like? How many of us give gifts not knowing what recipients want? Did your cousin really look excited about that jumping alarm clock? Lively and informed, Scroogenomics illustrates how our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste--to the shocking tune of eighty-five billion dollars each winter. Economist Joel Waldfogel provides solid explanations to show us why it's time to stop the madness and think twice before buying gifts for the holidays.

When we buy for ourselves, every dollar we spend produces at least a dollar in satisfaction, because we shop carefully and purchase items that are worth more than they cost. Gift giving is different. We make less-informed choices, max out on credit to buy gifts worth less than the money spent, and leave recipients less than satisfied, creating what Waldfogel calls "deadweight loss." Waldfogel indicates that this waste isn't confined to Americans--most major economies share in this orgy of wealth destruction. While recognizing the difficulties of altering current trends, Waldfogel offers viable gift-giving alternatives.

By reprioritizing our gift-giving habits, Scroogenomics proves that we can still maintain the economy without gouging our wallets, and reclaim the true spirit of the holiday season.

Spending and satisfaction
U.S. holiday spending
How much waste occurs at Christmas?
Why we do it : are gift recipients crackheads, or what?
Giving and waste around the world
A century of American Yuletide spending
Have yourself a borrowed little Christmas
Is Christmas like Spam, underwear, or caviar?
Christmas and commercialism : are Santa and Jesus on the same team? : if so, who's team captain?
Stop carping : it's all for the best
Making giving more efficient with cash and gift cards
Giving and redistribution
Solutions--making gift giving a force for good.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Waldfogel (The Tyranny of the Market) delivers a badly needed poke in the eye at holiday-time consumer madness, positing that not only is compulsory gift giving stressful and expensive, but it's economically unsound. Purchases are usually a zero-sum game-a $50 sweater is bought only when it is worth $50 or more to the consumer. But most gifts are relatively worthless to the less-than-enthused recipient, thus severing the link between the buying decision and the item's value. Addressing the $66 billion in retail sales during the 2007 Christmas season, the author's bewilderment is evident when he asks-would anyone buy this stuff for himself or herself? does anybody want it?-and answers his own question with a quote suggesting that gift giving may be too firmly entrenched to budge: "There are worlds of money wasted, at this time of year, in getting things that nobody wants, and nobody cares for after they are got." That's Harriet Beecher Stowe back in 1850. This lively, spot-on book may be the one gift that still makes sense to buy come Black Friday. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Consumption (Economics)
Publisher Princeton :Princeton University Press,©2009.
Language English
Description 173 pages ; 16 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [147]-169) and index.
ISBN 9780691142647 (hardcover : alk. paper)
0691142645 (hardcover : alk. paper)
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