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Charlotte Talks: 'Scroogenomics' Economist Explains Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents For The Holidays

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Monday, Dec. 16, 2019

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? Well, our guest today says don't bother! Economist Joel Waldfogel has studied holiday gift giving and says our spending habits generate vast amounts of economic waste.

This show originally aired Dec. 22, 2009.

Christmas is a time of hustle and bustle because of all the holiday shopping we engage in. You've probably been busy as a bee, scurrying around trying to get all your holiday shopping done. Some people love that task.

Others find it frustrating as they try to figure out just what to buy folks. And you don’t want to waste your money by buying something the recipient really won't use or doesn't want.

Well, just in time for Christmas, we're going to talk to someone who says you shouldn't be doing all that shopping. In fact, you shouldn't be giving gifts at all.

No, it's not Ebenezer Scrooge, but economist Joel Waldfogel. We spoke with him in 2009 after the publication of his eyebrow-raising book "Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays." We listen back to that conversation.

Guest

Joel Waldfogel, author of "Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays," published in 2009. His latest book, published last year, is "Digital Renaissance: What Data and Economics Tell Us About the Future of Popular Culture"

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.