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If Economists Wrote Christmas Cards

December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays to everyone in the GSE community and beyond!

In honor of this day of massive signaling (and possible deadweight losses), I wanted to share a post by Derek Thompson of The Atlantic. The topic is “If Economists Wrote Christmas Cards.” I doubt that Hallmark cards hires economists as writers. Derek Thompson explains-

Cash is the most efficient gift, according to economists. Cash is also a terrible gift,according to economists. By guaranteeing that the recipient can buy exactly what she wants, you guarantee that the recipient will consider you an unemotional robot.

That’s why the vast majority of economists in the University of Chicago’s IGM poll said it’s absurd to give cash to loved ones for the holidays. “In some cases,”Steven Kaplan said, in a stirring defense for thoughtful gifts, “non-pecuniary [not cash-related] values are important.”

For everyone in the community, both those who will be giving and receiving gifts this holiday season and those who will not, I wish that your highest ordinal rankings be satisfied and may your deadweight losses not be too large!

 

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