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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas inflation

As a microeconomist, I don't spend much time talking to my students about price indices but once a year, I wish I did. That's because I always get such a geeky kick out of the Christmas Price Index, PNC's annual update of the cost to actually buy all the items in the song 12 Days of Christmas. The "cost of Christmas" is up 8.1% this year, to over $21,000 (driven again by the cost of swans-a-swimming). What I hadn't realized is that PNC's website also has some cool tools for teachers, including a Pin the Price Tag on the Gift game and and an Economics Trivia quiz. Definitely worth checking out...


  1. The Economics Trivia quiz is pretty nice, although I think that the answers to a couple of the questions are at best debatable. Question 4 asks which of three things is not an example of capital, and the correct answer is a college degree. One can at least argue that obtaining a college education, of which the degree is the indicator, is an investment in human capital. And (I think it's) question 10--the implication is that an increase in the price of bread (between the 1920s and now) is an example of inflation; in fact, that could simply be a change in relative prices.

    I know, picky, picky, picky...

    Happy holidays, Jennifer.

  2. I agree! I thought that capital question was really weird - I got that one wrong and their definition of capital as anything with value in and of itself was just odd. With the inflation question, I thought all the answers were not quite right (I know my students would want to argue that your wage going up could be because you're more productive or something like that) but I think the main point was that only one option was a DECREASE in nominal prices and I assume they defined inflation as an increase in nominal prices. But clearly, these questions have not been vetted by lots of whining students! :-)

    Happy holidays to you too!

  3. Hi

    There are so many people decrease the prices of goods on christmas.

  4. Hi

    I think this inflations is coming soon is Pakistan.


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