Thursday, May 24, 2012

Internationally compare the wages of McDonald's workers in Big Macs per hour. The great thing about this ratio is that it is mostly orthogonal to minimum wage effects: higher wages make the burgers more expensive. I understand the international variance primarily as saying that you're not just paying someone to cook burgers; you're paying someone to not do all the other things they could be doing with their time, such as work in another industry, or not work at all, relying on private and public charity. In the US, you've got to pay about 2.4 Big Macs per hour; India: 0.35.

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