Economists–a deservedly bad reputation? Not after some Econ Holiday Cheer!

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From the Atlantic today:

If Economists Wrote Christmas Cards

DEC 18 2013, 3:50 PM ET
The University of Chicago asks a group of academics about gift-giving and the holidays. Their responses will melt your heart.
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.”

Non-pecuniary values are important! I guess so. But can you imagine a more wooden explication of love? Can you imagine a more wooden explanation of anything? Just think of the Christmas card…

read more here:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/12/if-economists-wrote-christmas-cards/282493/

and here are the actual economists’ responses:

Poll Results

i liked this one from Katherine Baicker: “Depends on goal: may have goal (like create emotional connection through item – as if economists had emotions!) not achievable with cash.”

 

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