Joel Waldfogel, author of “The Deadweight Loss of Christmas”, has a book on the subject, “Scroogenomics“. Appropriately, it is a quintessential gift: beautifully presented but under the glorious exterior there’s not that much there: it’s about the size of a pocket diary. I’d guess it’s 20,000 words, tops…

I like it, though, having read the first half over breakfast. I’ll try to deliver a proper response in an appropriately-seasonal column.

If you want to see Waldfogel defend his thesis, go to the LSE on 3 December. I’ll be giving my own take on Waldfogel courtesy of the School of Life on 13 December – and I think Joel has it wrong. (But I’ll read on: he has thought about this a lot.) Here is my earlier take on Joel Waldfogel; here is the man himself.

The Undercover Economist: a guide

Publishing schedule: Excerpts from "The Undercover Economist" and "Dear Economist", Tim's weekly columns for the FT Magazine, are published on this blog on Saturday mornings.
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