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Gifts, Cash, and Stigma

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Author Info

  • Joel Waldfogel

    ()
    (Department of Business and Public Policy, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6372.)

Abstract

Each year individuals in the United States transfer between $50 and $72 billion in resources in the form of noncash holiday gifts, despite the fact that holiday gift recipients apparently value their noncash gifts at about 10% less than the prices paid by the givers. We document that cash giving is more likely from givers who tend to give unwanted gifts, indicating that givers are concerned with the utility of their recipients. The rarity of cash gifts can be rationalized by a stigma of cash giving that we are able to parameterize and estimate using a simple structural model. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 40 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 415-427

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:40:y:2002:i:3:p:415-427

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Cited by:
  1. Kaplan, Todd R. & Ruffle, Bradley J., 2009. "In search of welfare-improving gifts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 445-460, May.
  2. Chen, Xi, 2011. "Accounting for social spending escalation in rural China," IAMO Forum 2011: Will the "BRICs Decade" Continue? – Prospects for Trade and Growth 6, Leib­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO).
  3. Principe, Kristine E. & Eisenhauer, Joseph G., 2009. "Gift-giving and deadweight loss," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 215-220, March.

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