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, Shaila Dewan looks at whether it’s worth it to pay for dating websites like e Harmony that charge a monthly fee.
And as much as we may appreciate having our choices limited, if only to save us from being overwhelmed, from a purely economic standpoint, there is no benefit to limiting your own options, even if it means getting sucked into a time-consuming rabbit hole.
In a paper* that has proved seminal in the literature on the issue, he asked students two questions at the end of a holiday season: first, estimate the total amount paid (by the givers) for all the holiday gifts you received; second, apart from the sentimental value of the items, if you did not have them, how much would you be willing to pay to get them?
His results were gloomy: on average, a gift was valued by the recipient well below the price paid by the giver.
After all, everyone is spending; in America, retailers make 25% of their yearly sales and 60% of their profits between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Even so, economists find something to worry about in the nature of the purchases being made.