Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, December 19, 2004

"Re-Gifting" and the economics of exchange

"Re-gifting" is a term applied to giving someone else a gift of something you received as a gift but didn't really want. Here is an article from the Washington Post about the practice (free registration required).

I expect that opposition to the practice of re-gifting often results from the feeling that the giver didn't much care about the person who gave the gift or who is receiving the re-gift. The pure economics of exchange is not particularly helpful here. Most of the time I don't mind receiving gifts that are re-gifted if there is some semblance of thought and care in their selection. But most painful to me is the process of deciding whether to re-gift something I've received as a gift but which was clearly inappropriate. In such cases, I usually end up re-gifting the item to the Sally Ann.

My greatest joy in re-gifting involves some old slices of pizza that my son in Houston and I have re-exchanged at times.
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