Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Deadweight

Since it's Halloween (a celebration I've loathed since kindergarten), I'd like to make a brief comment on the social cost associated with it. We all are likely familiar with Waldfogel's 'The Deadweight Loss of Christmas' paper, but Halloween seems like an even worse offender.

Seriously folks, how much of the junk you buy for Halloween do you actually value, and how much of it is so the neighbourhood association doesn't come after you on November 1 for turning off the lights at 5:30? At least among people I know, the answer is 'very little'.

Sure, there's a large variance among different people, but I can't help but think if Christmas has a ton of deadweight - when you're buying for people close to you, and trying to impress your relations (barring things like decorating the house) - Halloween must be even more, since we're buying for an unknown number of people, whom we don't know anything about.

ANECDOTE: After I post this, half the blogosphere does related posts. And somehow Mankiw is ahead of me 2500 to 1?

1 comment:

Matt Nolan said...

Ha, thats crazy, I even did a Halloween post and we hardly celebrate it in NZ :)

http://tvhe.wordpress.com/2007/11/01/halloween-an-inefficient-holiday/