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Labor Theory of Beer

The graph above shows the number of minutes that workers have to work to buy 500ml of beer (h/t to Renata Lins of chopinhofemenino, great blog if you read Portuguese). By the way, a pint in the US is slightly less than that (around 473ml). Note that the amount of time a worker needs to work depends on the price in dollars. So, for example, China is at the bottom of the list, with workers getting to bliss (yep a General Equilibrium concept bitches) in less than ten minutes, because beer is cheap in dollars, not as a result of high wages. Japanese workers, on the other hand, with higher wages, need to work more like 15 minutes because beer is really expensive.


  1. Cool! I am surprised at how expensive beer is Europe. My impression when I was in Berlin this spring, was that the beer was pleasingly affordable...

    1. Yep, but part of the price is the exchange rate. So it depends. Maybe the euro is appreciated in beer purchasing power, and so is the yen. Mind you, beer purchasing power (bpp) is a more important concept than purchasing power parity (ppp).

    2. Everything is cheaper in Berlin.

  2. You also need to take into account the quality chasm between Czech and US beer :)

    1. Hedonic adjustment is truly necessary. Agreed.

  3. Typo. It should be PISS, not BLISS. Paralytically Incapable Stationary State. (Sorry, old and bad joke).


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