The Capital Ideas last-minute holiday gift guide

From: Blog

Expedited shipping can’t help you, but these tips derived from Chicago Booth research just might. 

  • Economists agree, it’s the thought that counts! Don’t try to get away with some greenbacks in a white envelope—your intended recipient knows that gift-giving is about more than efficiency, and so should you. Not convinced? Take it straight from the IGM Economic Experts Panel

  • Spend less on gifts—really! The thought that counts belongs to the gift’s recipient, according to research from Nicholas Epley and Yan Zhang. Plus, a relatively expensive $45 scarf will be more impressive to the recipient than a relatively cheap $55 coat, according to research from Christopher K. Hsee and Luxi Shen. That’s because the recipient will compare the scarf to other scarves, not to coats.

  • If you’re behind on shopping because you can’t shake your inner Ebenezer, the science of selfless giving can help you find your generosity of spirit. People who feel more connected to another person than to their future selves are more likely to consider the welfare of others, according to research from Daniel Bartels. Catch up with a loved one before you brave the mall, and you may find yourself in the mood for giving. 
Once you get those last-minute gifts crossed off your list, you can sit back, relax, and read the latest issue of Capital Ideas.

—Chelsea VailCat:Business, More,Sub: Behavioral Science,