Does Christmas Make Retail Capitalism Possible?

You’re always hearing about how some massive percentage of all retails sales take place around the holidays (right now I’m having trouble finding an exact statistic), and it makes me wonder. In a developed economy like, say, Japan that doesn’t have a big annual gift-giving holiday, are retail sales more or less the same in the aggregate but more evenly distributed throughout the year? Or is there a certain percentage of retail sales that happen only because there’s a holiday? Some smart economist has to have taken a look this, yes?

Chris Hayes is the host of All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

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