Christmas Economics - A Sleigh Ride

30 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2014

See all articles by Laura Birg

Laura Birg

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Anna Goeddeke

Reutlingen University - ESB Business School

Date Written: 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.

Keywords: Christmas, Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, elves, presents, welfare

JEL Classification: A12, D1, D6, E3, H4, I1, Z1, XM45

Suggested Citation

Birg, Laura and Goeddeke, Anna, Christmas Economics - A Sleigh Ride (November 17, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Laura Birg (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, D-37073
+49 551 39 19686 (Phone)

Anna Goeddeke

Reutlingen University - ESB Business School ( email )

Alteburgstr. 150
Reutlingen, 72762

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