38NuoX I value the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.
Funny but definitely interesting articles.
Of course, I'm particularly efficient with Halloween: I just finished eating some of the candy we didn't pass out. No waste!
Agree on homemade Christmas gifts often being better than expensive impersonal gifts. Less wasted money and like you say something you can't buy in a store.
Nice to see you around again, by the way. We've picked up several libertarians in the interim...
Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world -- Tennyson
If the giver has decided to spend an amount g0 on a gift, the giver's problem is to decide whether to give cash, which confers utility of U(g0) on the recipient, or a noncash gift, which has expected utility of integral(f(g)U(g)dg), where f() is the density function of recipient valuations.
They actually seem to maintain a serious tone throughout the entire paper. Although, the very last paragraph in the conclusion -- only an economist could compare the economic damage caused by Christmas to the economic damage caused by the income tax...!
but it's impossible for me not to find humor in the material. For example,
Even after accounting for exchanges, aunt/uncle and grandparent gifts have by far the lowest yields (among noncash gifts)... Introspection suggests that cash gifts are socially awkward between some types of givers and recipients. Of course, this stigma seems to have dissipated where it would be most destructive: grandparents, aunts, and uncles are most willing to give cash.
Translation: you don't really need those wool socks you keep getting from Grandma, but at least Aunt Bee has the sense to realize she doesn't know what to get you and to just put a twenty in the card.
Nice article. Mankiw's an OK dude. He's got some funny ideas though....as far as economists go.
Mankiw's positions are very mainstream among conservative-leaning economists. He tends to not go out on a limb -- most of the things he says are backed up by extensive academic research (and he often provides links to the studies backing up his claims). He criticizes the crazies on the right as well as on the left. For example, you won't find him claiming that all tax cuts are self-financing, only that high marginal tax rates create measurable work disincentives.
I have my occasional disagreements with things Mankiw says (I wouldn't exactly call myself a member of his Pigou Club...), but it's generally about 90-95% agreement.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I disagree with him. Hell, he has one of the nation's best selling econ books under his belt.
I guess when I said that, I was referring to his affinity for neo-keynesianism on macro-issues. I should have been specific.
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