Christmas Economics – A Sleigh Ride by Laura Birg (University of Goettingen) and Anna Goeddeke (Reutlingen University – ESB Business School) – November 17, 2014.
“Do you believe that at Christmas time the gas prices, the economy and the number of suicides peak? Do you think that the value of presents you are giving to your beloved is of importance? We show in this paper that conventional wisdom about Christmas is often doubtful. Furthermore, we give an idea of how Santa Claus — and maybe you — is able to finance Christmas celebrations, why emergency departments are a place to especially avoid during this time of the year and why Christmas tree growers might care to explain the differences across species to you this year. We cannot clearly establish whether Christmas entails a welfare loss or gain, however, we give you an idea as to which institutional settings might reduce a potential welfare loss. Also, we give advice about which behaviours might get you more Christmas presents from Santa this year. Finally, we find that more research is needed to give conclusive reasons why Santa Claus actually brings presents to (nearly) everyone.”