While I believe in being critical of tradition and trying to understand it in a certain context, I am perfectly capable of leaving that hat in the library or lecture hall, pulling up my sleeves, tucking into enough food to feed ten normal people and try to care about the Detroit Lions.
Economists, unlike historians or cultural critics or anthropologists or others, at least try to have a little fun with the holidays. The preachiness is more missing, and people are considered amorally (as in without moral judgement) for their choices and preferences. That is what draws me into economics as a field of interest.
Anyway, here are some economic takes on the coming holiday:
- Ezra Klein on the behaviorial economics of thanksgiving. Here, Klein talks to NYT food columnist Mark Bittman about similar things.
- How price discrimination explains "Black Friday" sales.
- The "first" Thanksgiving as a victory for capitalism (or free choice of some sort). O.K., this one is a bit more polemical, but it fits the theme and I agree with it.
Enjoy the holiday.