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Why Is Everyone So Bad At Giving Gifts?

Dec 08, 2017 | 14 videos
Video by The Atlantic

We’ve all received an unwelcome holiday gift. In fact, around 70 billion dollars’ worth of presents are returned every year in the U.S. In this video, The Atlantic writer Derek Thompson explains why many presents amount to what economists call “deadweight loss”: the company wasted time making it, the giver wasted time buying it, and the receiver wasted time returning it.


So, how do we design a gift-giving formula that strikes the right balance between efficient, practical, and sentimental?


We want to hear what you think. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

Authors: Derek Thompson, Alice Roth, Jackie Lay

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