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The Big Mac Index
Old 08-25-2009, 02:01 PM   #1
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The Big Mac Index

Now I've seen it all...

This is actually a "real" index, using a universally recognized product as the basis of comparison.
In any case, there is a useful document (2009 version of the UBS survey of purchasing power globally) linked in the article at Burgernomics: What's a Big Mac worth? - MSN Money

Excerpt: The Big Mac Index, created by The Economist, has long been used as a way to illustrate the shifts in purchasing power of different currencies. A McDonald's Big Mac sandwich that costs $3.54 in New York, for example, costs 1,550 pesos in Chile.
Investment bank UBS takes the concept further, translating each currency into units of work. Thus a Big Mac that takes 14 minutes to earn in New York takes nearly an hour in Budapest. (The hourly wage used for New York was $19, though of course that shifts constantly with exchange rates.)
The 2009 version of the UBS survey (.pdf file) adds another good with near-universal familiarity: The iPod.

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Old 08-26-2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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The "how long you have to work..." column is amazing - what an incredible difference in time around the world.

Does it show any insight where you should put your investing capital ?

You would think over time an hour of "human labor" would equilibrate over time - and currencies strengthen over time in emerging nations.

But then some countries may stay "emerging" forever.

Now I'm really confused.........but I confuse easily.

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Old 08-27-2009, 06:13 AM   #3
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Yo, we are in a recession. In these difficult economic times, where's the ghetto big mac* index?

* ghetto big mac = $1 double cheeseburger from the dollar menu, and then you ask for big mac sauce on it (usually free, sometimes $0.07-$0.14).

See, for example:

edited to add: dang! 4 hrs till lunch time and I'm craving a delicious ghetto big mac.
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