Year-End Fun: Scroogenomics

Today’s Washington Times contains my review of Joel Waldfogel’s book Scroogenomics: Why You shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays.

Here’s a taste:

“‘A cribbage board? You shouldn’t have,’ we tell our mothers-in-law. Indeed.” In those three short sentences, Joel Waldfogel describes the origin of what retailers call “return season” and what consumers call “the week after Christmas.”

Mr. Waldfogel has a point here. By his calculations, such gifts cost the U.S. economy about $85 billion in waste. That’s more than 124 countries’ entire gross domestic product, by the way.

Bibliophiles might also be interested in my year-end book bonanza post over at my personal blog.