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Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for Christmas

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LSE public lecture

Date: Thursday 3 December 2009
Time: 5-6pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor Joel Waldfogel
Chair: Martin Lewis

Christmas is a time of seasonal cheer, family get-togethers, holiday parties, and-gift giving. BUT – How many of us get gifts we like? How many of us give gifts not knowing what recipients want?

Waldfogel illustrates how our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste—over £50 billion each winter. He provides solid explanations to show us why it's time to stop the madness and think twice before we start on our Christmas shopping extravaganza. When we buy for ourselves, every pound we spend produces at least a pound in satisfaction, we shop carefully and purchase items that are worth more than they cost. Gift giving is different. We make less-informed choices, max out on credit to buy gifts worth less than the money spent, and leave recipients less than satisfied, creating what Waldfogel calls "deadweight loss." Whilst recognizing the difficulties of altering current trends, Waldfogel offers some alternative gift-giving suggestions.

Joel Waldfogel is the Ehrenkranz Professor and Chair of Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Tyranny of the Market and has been a columnist for Slate. This event marks the launch of his latest book, Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays.

Martin Lewis is an award-winning TV and radio presenter, national newspaper columnist and bestselling author. Martin is a LSE Alumus and LSE Governor.

The event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. Any queries, email events@lse.ac.uk or phone 020 7955 6043.

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email pressoffice@lse.ac.uk


A copy of Professor Waldfogel's PowerPoint presentation is now available online:

Download Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for Christmas


A podcast of this event is available to download from the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

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