Economic impact of Arbitrary National HolidaysSun, 29th Sep '13, 2:45 pm::

While making plans for Thanksgiving, I just realized this year it falls on November 28th. As Thanksgiving is celebrated on fourth Thursday of November in the US, the latest it can occur is indeed November 28th (1st November being a Friday). Since 1990 this is only the fourth Thanksgiving to fall on November 28th. The next one will be in 2019.

People usually start shopping for Christmas gifts after Thanksgiving. The later Thanksgiving falls, the less time there is for shopping. The earliest Thanksgiving can occur is on November 22nd, almost a week earlier. Number of potential shopping days range from 26 (November 28th) to 32 (November 22nd). Since the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the busiest shopping period for almost all retailers and e-commerce companies, reducing the duration by 20% can have one of two effects: (1) average sales/day go up because people still need to buy all the gifts or (2) average sales/day remain stagnant because people don't have enough time/money to buy all the gifts, reducing sales. Adjusting for typical business cycles, it would be interesting to see whether (1) or (2) happens.

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