We thank Andrew Scott (the Editor), two anonymous referees, Manuel Amador, Nick Bloom, Doireann Fitzgerald, Avner Greif, Seema Jayachandran, Tim Guinnane and Izi Sin for many useful comments and suggestions.
Is Hanukkah Responsive to Christmas?*
Version of Record online: 25 AUG 2009
© The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2009
The Economic Journal
Volume 120, Issue 545, pages 612–630, June 2010
How to Cite
Abramitzky, R., Einav, L. and Rigbi, O. (2010), Is Hanukkah Responsive to Christmas?. The Economic Journal, 120: 612–630. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2009.02305.x
- Issue online: 1 JUN 2010
- Version of Record online: 25 AUG 2009
- Submitted: 15 May 2008 Accepted: 9 January 2009
We use individual-level survey and county-level expenditure data to examine the extent to which Hanukkah celebrations among US Jews are driven by the presence of Christmas. We document that Jews with young children are more likely to celebrate Hanukkah, that this effect is greater for reform Jews and for strongly-identified Jews, and that Jewish-related expenditure on Hanukkah is higher in counties with lower shares of Jews. All these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that celebration of religious holidays is designed not only for worship and enjoyment but also to provide a counterbalance for children against competing cultural influences.