"I guess I'm kind of institutionalized now… but you know it's funny, over the years speaking about (Scroogenomics) I like to think I've gained a sense of wisdom about it all to help the discussion," Waldfogel told CNBC in a phone interview.
Scroogenomics proposes that only the recipient knows which goods would maximize their happiness. Therefore, Waldfogel argued it must be better to give someone cash as opposed to a gift as this removes the risk of dissatisfaction, guarantees the happiness of the participants involved and even leaves the economy in better shape too.
His phone rings every December with calls for explanations as to his somewhat controversial holiday theory.
Waldfogel estimated that U.S. consumers spend approximately $70 billion on holiday gifts every year and so, perhaps unsurprisingly, economists tend to agree the theory makes perfect sense.
ING Group found that almost one in four people in Europe received unwanted Christmas gifts in 2015 which goes some way to supporting the Scroogenomics way of thinking.
According to the Dutch bank's International Survey Special Report for Christmas 2016, around 81 million unwanted gifts were unwrapped on Christmas day in 2015; at an estimated value of €45 each ($48).
That's €3.7 billion which was effectively wasted on unappreciated presents last year with 10 percent of the European population even driving themselves into debt to pay for the gifts, ING's research suggests.
"Although more people are planning ahead and saving especially for Christmas, there are still some putting themselves into debt to please their family and friends, who may not even remember what they received a year later," Ian Bright, senior economist with ING, said in a note.
"There are many different ways to give at Christmas. Consumers may want to pause and think about the longer-term effect of their spending, before succumbing to pressure and purchasing expensive gifts that might go to waste," he added.