Is Hanukkah Responsive to Christmas?

19 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2010  

Ran Abramitzky

Stanford University - Department of Economics

Liran Einav

Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Oren Rigbi

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2009-06-29

Abstract

We use individual-level survey and county-level expenditure data to examine the extent to which Hanukkah celebrations among US Jews are driven by the presence of Christmas. We document that Jews with young children are more likely to celebrate Hanukkah, that this effect is greater for reform Jews and for strongly-identified Jews, and that Jewish-related expenditure on Hanukkah is higher in counties with lower shares of Jews. All these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that celebration of religious holidays is designed not only for worship and enjoyment but also to provide a counterbalance for children against competing cultural influences.

Suggested Citation

Abramitzky, Ran and Einav, Liran and Rigbi, Oren, Is Hanukkah Responsive to Christmas? (2009-06-29). The Economic Journal, Vol. 120, Issue 545, pp. 612-630, June 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1619042 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2009.02305.x

Ran Abramitzky (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Liran Einav

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States
650-723-3704 (Phone)
928-223-4973 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Oren Rigbi

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ( email )

1 Ben-Gurion Blvd
Beer-Sheba 84105, 84105
Israel

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