Skip Navigation
NPR News

Episode 238: Making Christmas More Joyful, And More Efficient

Dec 25, 2012

Hear this

This text will be replaced
Launch in player

Share this

Explore this

Reported by

Related Topics at

This episode was originally released on December 21, 2010.

Gift-giving makes economists crazy. It's so inefficient!

So we wondered: Is there a way to make the holiday season both more efficient and more joyful?

On today's Planet Money, we try to answer that question by conducting a wildly unscientific experiment. We go into a seventh-grade classroom and give a bunch of kids some small gifts — candy, raisins, fig newtons.

Then we ask them how much they value what they got, and if they can think of a way to make everyone better off, without buying any more gifts. They quickly arrive at a solution: trade.

Behold, the power of economics!

Download the Planet Money iPhone App. Music: Kayne West's "Christmas In Harlem." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.