Yeah, so your holiday has either happened or it’s probably too late to change gifts which means it’s the perfect time for a gift list from Weakonomics. It’s neither useful, nor helpful. So enjoy:
Utilikey: One of my favorite tools for anyone out there. Great for opening plastic packaging, boxes with too much tape, and beer bottles. It’s the size of a key and has 6 tools in one. The blade and bottle opener get the most use for me. If you’re the guy with all the solutions to our economic problems, you should be the one that can handle Christmas day problems too.
Books: 2012 was a disappointing year for economics books both of the behavioral and macro type. Instead, a subscription to Economist Magazine or BusinessWeek would go a long way. These are far and above my favorite publications out there. If you must wrap up something a cheap copy of “Wealth of Nations” will look good on a bookshelf. But don’t expect him to read it because he already thinks he know what it says.
iPhone/iPad: If you give big gifts then these guys are the best options. Load them up with a financial calculator, FRED, FlipBoard, Twitter, and of course Google Maps. There really aren’t that many good apps worth paying for from an economics perspective. The economist on a the go needs to access economic data, do some quick math, and of course share some witty comments on the latest dweeby trend on Twitter.
Nerdy Socks: Chances are the economist in your life is nerdy about more things than simply economics. Get them some Star Wars socks, or some from Dr Who. If you want to be ironic, get the economist in your life some socks that just say “science“. They’ll understand.
Any kind of coffee or tea related gadget: The economist in your life likely has a caffeine problem. They spend a lot of time reading things that even they find boring but must get through anyway. They enjoy a hot drink this time of year, but the need the caffeine fix year round. If your economist is a tea drinker, there are all sorts of infusers and specialty cups that can be found at local tea stores. Coffee gadgets are fun and numerous. It can be as simple as K-Cups for a Keurig or as lovely as a french press.
Gift Cards or Cash: The rational economist in your life only wants one thing, something that’s as good as cash. This economist knows that the giver usually finds more value in the gift than the receiver and the only way to remedy the imbalance is cash. But the human side of this person shouldn’t want to receive a gift the giver didn’t want to give. For more on this paradox likely the day before you start you gift-giving, read “Commerce Claus The behavioral economics of Christmas“.