Email Print Share

Media Advisory 11-030

Holiday Stock-ings--An NSF Webcast

How buying gifts and personal satisfaction affect the world economy

Illustration of an elderly man with a top hat holding a Christmas stocking filled with cash.

NSF examines gift giving's role in holiday economics.

December 15, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The United States is said to be the greatest economic engine in modern times. "When America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold," goes the popular axiom. But how does U.S. holiday spending--thought to be an enormous economic activity--compare to other countries?

Is spending money on gifts that sprout plants resembling hair or sweaters that spontaneously sing Elvis songs really an economic boon, particularly in an increasingly interdependent world in which one international market affects another?

Join renowned economist Joel Waldfogel for a National Science Foundation-sponsored, media-focused webcast, "Holiday Stock-ings: How buying gifts and personal satisfaction affect the world economy," next Tuesday at 11 a.m. EST. Waldfogel, the Frederick R. Kappel Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota and the author of "Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays," discusses the role of U.S. holiday spending in overall economic outcomes and in personal satisfaction.

  • Where does America rank in holiday spending compared to other countries?
  • What effect does U.S. holiday spending have on the world economy?
  • What generally is the personal effect of holiday spending for the giver and the receiver?
  • How does the personal value of a gift impact the U.S. economic engine?
  • Whose gift giving more affects the economy, those of high income or low income communities?

Join Joel Waldfogel for his well-researched and unique look at the economic and personal outcomes of gift giving during the holiday season.

Who:Joel Waldfogel, University of Minnesota, Carlson School Professor of Economics

What:Live teleconference and webcast for journalists

When:Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011, 11:11 a.m. EST

Where:Media are invited to participate in the webcast by phone or online on the Science360 website. (Note: the URL will only be live during the event.) Please contact for phone number and passcode information. Joel Waldfogel will respond to questions from the media throughout the webcast.

Media are encouraged to direct questions before and during the webcast to


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

Program Contacts
Nancy A Lutz, NSF, (703) 292-7280, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Connect with us online
NSF website:
NSF News:
For News Media:
Awards database:

Follow us on social