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In praise of Scrooge

As Christmas looms, we could all learn a lot about generosity from Dickens’s miser

By Tim Harford   January 2010

A man of our times: the frugal Scrooge helped drive down interest rates

Yet another film adaptation of A Christmas Carol has arrived on the big screen. The spirit of Scrooge is alive and well in bookshops this season, too, in the form of Scroogenomics, by the Wharton business school economist Joel Waldfogel. It’s a nicely-timed stocking filler from the man who estimates that badly-chosen Christmas presents will waste the equivalent of $25bn across the world this year.

When I met him in early December, Waldfogel mournfully remarked that the chief impact of his work has been to ensure that…

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