Orley Ashenfelter - The Big Mac Index at the 12th annual Trento Economics Festival

"From the Italian Newspaper l'Adige:

Economists have developed methods so that the wages received in the different countries can be compared readily.


Orley Ashenfelter, professor at Princeton University in New Jersey, presented the results of his research on a unit of measure of global welfare- The Big Mac Index at the 12th annual Trento Economics Festival in a session moderated by journalist Eugenio Occorsio . The Big Mac Index of Professor Ashenfelter is the number of Big Macs per hour that can be bought with the wage earned per hour. Starting from the observation that the Big Mac, the McDonald’s fast food chain hamburger, is a standardized product widely distributed around the world, almost identical in content with locally sourced components, it was considered an appropriate and unique way to compare purchasing power in different locations around the world. It turns out that while in all developed countries two or three Big Macs can be bought with the pay for one working hour, in developing countries, instead, the hourly pay allows only about a third of a Big Mac to be purchased.