Google, President Trump, Cardiff discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money

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Support for this podcast and the following message come from Google from Connecticut to California from Mississippi Minnesota millions of American businesses. These are using google tools to grow online learn more at Google dot com slash grow. This message comes from. NPR sponsor state. Farm why do you need state farm renter's insurance because it helps protected this stuff. Landlords don't like your furniture gets drenched by a broken pipe state farm renter's insurance find an agent or get a quote at state. Farm Dot Com. Economists are terrible about gifts. Oh no no no no no no search you know now we have brilliant it gives. Now it's a it's a particular angle that you guys take on gift giving. It's all about efficiency like economics is about deficiency and gifts are not particularly efficient. That is not necessarily their goal. When you buy a Christmas gift this is a big expenditure of resources? Sources and people worked hard to create this thing and yet some gifts not all gifts are not actually valued by the people who received them what they value is the the gesture the connection and the larger the gift the more resources have been put into it the bigger the potential waste and so if instead I were to maybe give view a really small gift that showed some real personal thought that I really thought a lot about what you wanted maybe written. You're a handwritten letter rather than I'm just saying I'm going to go to macy's and just going to buy something big in a big golden box and I don't care about stacy I just care about gesture isn't the handwritten letter. Isn't that better sir. You're telling me you're telling me that I'm getting it wrong. The exclusive right so thoughtful gift than a giant mindless gift. Sure still you WANNA gift. Okay I hear you. You don't WanNa let you WANNA gift so okay plan. He is what I need to do is to find out what you actually want. Is the efficient present hypothesis present. This is mine. Efficient president hypotheses Russian president hypothesis is. If I get something I think you really want. You've already got it. You think I'm joking but this happens a love. I've had this experience with with my wife. For example I know. She really likes his particular brand of woolen socks. Keep our feet warm in the winter and so last Christmas yes I thought I was smart guy. We got your wife socks not just expect like one of the things. She really likes his socks so I got these sure that's true. I am sure it's socks and gift. Cards are the are the junk bonds of gifts okay. So here's the reason. I'm sure it's true. She bought the same pair of socks herself and gave it to me to like. Oh please give me this gift for Christmas. And I'm like I already bought those socks for you like herself. A Christmas Ms President and gave it to you to give to her because she didn't trust me to do it right so good that I was bad because we bought the same thing so the solution to all of if this is ask all wishlist. Now I know what you think you this point. Wow that's so kind of mechanical. So that's like you're not even thinking surprise. The prize registered for Christmas gift. I don't know do you have an official wish-lists that you give to all your friends. No just my family. I don't the family to send people please by this stuff and I ask them for their wish list. And if they don't have stuff on the wishlist I asked them to put stuff on their wishlist. And here's why because I have read. The academic research gathered by Francesca. Gino and Francis Flynn the people receiving the gifts love getting gifts off wishlist. It's like great. That was so thoughtful of you. You went to the trouble to find out what I actually wanted. And you got it for me and I really like that and there was no sense of or you didn't try or you. He didn't surprise me. So people think that wishlist saw like cop-out not really playing the game but they work really well but like when we think about gifts and we think about the economy and we think about like the parallels between the two the economy obviously grows as it becomes more efficient or it has the potential to grow as it becomes more efficient right right relationships grow or become more meaningful very often when they are inefficient right so think about like. The parents aren't spending like a lot of time with their kids or something like that. We could be doing other things sometimes. You're just lazing about but it's meaningful in the context of the relationships when it comes to giving gifts anticipating what somebody wants isn't always a straightforward as like what they themselves have expressed that they want right. Sometimes Times like the Weirdo gift that they absolutely have no use for. Okay is the thing that deepens the relationship and so even if in the moment the person's like okay. This gift right is what I want. I'm like really excited about it. It might not be as memorable say as the incredibly weird thing that you came on. That is there's more use right right. This is like a cash thing like giving cash well so caches another benchmark things a want to give cash like as an economist. Do you feel like you wish you could give people. Cash is big stigma to giving cash. Even we economists. Know if you've had your spouse one hundred dollars on Christmas they love you babe. That's like I know that you know it's funny gift from the airport. I think the wish solution really works for me. You are giving something. It's symbolized this relationship. It symbolizes a certain amount of thought which is not. Hey I went off piste and I thought some crazy Cardiff Cassia kind of gift It was like I thought enough to figure out exactly what you wanted. And I I asked you what you want hidden. I gave you what you wanted and people really the research has people really appreciative By other point is just referred to SOx's the junk bonds of guests but actually I was just thinking junk bonds would be a great gift to give someone. Is that a great risk risk high reward. It's very interesting it's weird. It's flash element. I want junk bonds for Christmas. Jump on sending out. That's okay so that now we got. If let it be known you are now stacy. You are now allowed to buy junk bonds for Christmas because he would really appreciate it if you did. That's it's what the research shows junk bonds all right. Well there is one like irony. I think potentially to like a lot of economists recommendations since for gift buying which is that our economy like a lot. It's not only not only. Is it actually a practical thing. That mm-hmm Christmas retail is like a huge part of a lot of retailers income. And if they don't get that it can become really bad but also as an indicator like people sort of freak out if holiday sales. Those aren't what they are expected to be. So if people followed economists advice about gifts you'll be terrible for the economy to be good for human beings so that's the the China's economists argue. I know the the economy exists. Serve US as I said I. It's not as big as people say but if a big chunk of the economy is devoted two people running around in cramped conditions under a lot of stress working really hard to buy each other staff. They don't actually want like whip we'd better off without. That's all very bleak Christmas. I Love I love Christmas. Do you love Christmas. I'm big into Christmas and I liked by. I The people that they want to receive rum rubbish. So junk bonds for Cardiff got it. Today's episode the indicator was produced by Jared Marcel fact checked by Nadia Lewis our editors Patty hearst indicator is a production of N._p._R...

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