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.

Tim Harford’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.