Thursday, November 22, 2007


This is the best holiday. No gifts or gifting.

But gifting has just gotten a boost. Today's LA Times includes "Want not? Waste not ... Regifting grows more popular as a way to save money and recycle."

This also means that the well known Joel Waldfogel research on the topic (that gifting includes large dead-weight losses) has to be rethought. When you receive a necktie, fuzzy scarf, key chain, bread maker, scented candle, cordless drill, coffee mill, cocktail shaker, stuffed animal, snow globe, oven mitt, placemat, indoor grill, back massager (list from the article), the dollar amount that you would be willing to pay for the item is just a small part. Add to it the pleasure you get from regifting it, the pleasure that the regifter gets from regifting it again, etc., etc.

We are, therefore, post-economist-as-scrooge and that means post-Thanksgiving not be so bad.