The deadweight loss of Bakra Eid

The gift giving season which is Christmas is just around the corner, and once again billions of dollars are going to waste:

bq. in general, people spend a lot more on presents than they’re worth to those who receive them, a phenomenon called “the deadweight loss of Christmas.” A deadweight loss is created when you spend eighty dollars to give me a sweater that I would spend only sixty-five dollars to buy myself.

The full paper “The deadweight loss of Christmas”:http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/freakonomics/pdf/WaldfogelDeadweightLossXmas.pdf – is a short, and interesting read.

While economists estimate that up to a third of the value of gifts exchanged at Christmas is lost, as the receivers value the gifts lower than what the giver bought them for, Bakra Eid is a bit like Christmas where everyone buys and receives the same gift – meat!

While there are other, non-economic benefits to the production and giving of the traditional Bakra Eid gifts, as an economic activity Bakra Eid is more akin to the Titanic, with all the hard work and effort required to save up a 100 billion rupees wrecked, with a few hardy survivors gobbling down their gifts, and the vast majority seeing all their hard earned cash slaughtered, with a few choice pieces of meat left at the end.

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