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Burgernomics: a big MacT guide to purchasing power parity

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  • Michael R. Pakko
  • Patricia S. Pollard

Abstract

The theory of purchasing power parity (PPP) has long been a staple of international economic analysis. Recent years have seen the rise in popularity of a tongue-in-cheek, fast-food version of PPP: The Big Mac™ index. In this article, Michael Pakko and Patricia Pollard describe how comparisons of Big Mac prices around the world contain the ingredients necessary to demonstrate the fundamental principles of PPP. They show that the Big Mac index does nearly as well as more comprehensive measures of international price comparisons and that deviations from “McParity” illustrate why PPP often appears not to hold as a practical matter.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael R. Pakko & Patricia S. Pollard, 2003. "Burgernomics: a big MacT guide to purchasing power parity," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 9-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2003:i:nov:p:9-28:n:v.85no.6
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    Cited by:

    1. Ernst R. Berndt, 2007. "A primer on the economics of re-importation of prescription drugs," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4-5), pages 415-435.
    2. Kamrul Hassan & Ruhul Salim, 2011. "The linkage between relative population growth and purchasing power parity: Cross country evidence," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 154-169, July.
    3. Landry, Anthony, 2013. "Borders and Big Macs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 318-322.
    4. Clements, Kenneth & Lan, Yihui & Roberts, John, 2008. "Exchange-rate economics for the resources sector," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 102-117, June.
    5. James Laurenceson & Kam Ki Tang, "undated". "China�s Equilibrium Exchange Rate and Trade Balance: A Tale of Apples and Pirates," EAERG Discussion Paper Series 0805, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    6. Yang, Jiawen, 2004. "Nontradables and the valuation of RMB--An evaluation of the Big Mac index," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 353-359.
    7. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00201 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Thierry Buchs, 2005. "Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate In Brazil Estimation And Policy Implications," International Trade 0502013, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Purchasing power parity;

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