Friday, August 21, 2009

Using Big Macs To Measure The Economy

For a long time now The Economist has used the price of a Big Mac in various countries to indicate how strong their economies are. The idea is simple: the stronger your economy is, the greater the purchasing power and therefore the cheaper a Big Mac should be. Though it may sound like a gimmick, The Economist has used it for years because it has proven to work well.

(Click on image for a better view.)

Now The Economist has released this interesting graph: Working time needed to buy a Big Bac.

This graph to me is a reminder of how fortunate I am to be in the US. Though I am a "starving student" living in pricey Southern California, I still have much more purchasing power per hour I work then almost anywhere else in the world.

By the way, I prefer Whoppers to Big Macs so if you are going to pay me in hamburgers make sure it is in Whoppers. :)

Anybody else have a favorite junk food method of payment?


  1. This is a classic in software development: Anyone that checks in code that breaks the build or any of the unit tests must buy the rest of the team doughnuts. Also, we developers have trained our product manager that frequent visits to the local Thai restaurant on his budget gets him a few extra goodies in his product releases.

  2. Stan, that's funny. What do you use, CVS? SVN?

    I don't know if you are familiar with Git, but it has an actual command called git-blame to "Show what revision and author last modified each line of a file".

    That was it is easy to track who is to blame. :)

  3. I've used svn,perforce, cvs and a few others. Most of them do have a way to look at each line and who modified that line last. In cvs and svn it is the 'annotate' command. Currently I've setup cruise control to do a continuous build. As soon as code is checked in the automated build machine will fire off a build and run the tests. If it is successful the check-er-in-er gets an email stating success. If anything fails the entire team gets an email and a summary of what was checked in and by whom within a minute or two of the offending check in. At a previous life we had a siren hooked to the build machine via usb and a voice synth would proclaim the offender to the whole war room. It may seem a bit over the top, but it was all in fun. We didn't get many broken builds.

  4. I've seen where some economists also use the LDS Bishop's storehouse as an economic measure of how bad a recession/economy is.

  5. rameumptom, that's interesting. I've never heard that before.


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