This Christmas: personalize gifts or stick to ‘Scroogenomics?’

The World

With only two days until Christmas, holiday shopping has reached a fever pitch. New York Times business and finance reporter Louise Story says a new trend is sweeping holiday giving this year: customized gifts. Whether itss designing the shoes you buy for your daughter or having your old family recipes printed as a cookbook, retailers are betting that consumers will pay extra for that personalized touch. But Joel Waldfogel isn’t sure. Waldfogel is the Ehrenkranz Family Professor in the Department of Business and Public Policy at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s also the author of “Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays.” Waldfogel says we should put an end to buying gifts for certain kinds of friends and family: those we don’t see often or know very well. His research shows that far-flung friends and family often won’t enjoy your gift as much as things they simply buy for themselves.

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