Курс доллара к рублю и рубля к доллару с 1792 по 2009 годы.


Цены на нефть за последние 150 лет.


Британский индекс Биг-мака за 1986-2009 годы.


Жалование дореволюционных чиновников в 1913 году в тогдашних и современных рублях.


Рейтинг стран мира по военным расходам.


Рейтинг стран мира по численности вооруженных сил.








































Британский Big Mac Index за 1996 год

McCurrencies: where's the beef?

 (Original text)

How seriously should you take the Big Mac Index?


TEN years on, The Economist's Big Mac index is still going strong. Mad-cow disease notwithstanding, it is time to dish up our annual feast of burgcrnomics. The Big Mac index was devised as a light-hearted guide to whether currencies are at their "correct" level. It is not intended to be a predictor of exchange-rates, but a tool to make economic theory more digestible.

Burgernomics is based upon the theory of purchasing-power parity (ppp). This argues that, in the long ran, the exchange rate between two currencies should move towards the rate that would equalise the prices of an identica I basket of goods and services in the two countries. Our basket is a McDonald's Big Mac, which is made to roughly the same recipe in more than 80 countries. The Big Mac ppp is the exchange rate that would make a burger cost the same in America as it does abroad. Comparing this with the actual rate is one test of whether a currency is undervalued or overvalued.

The first column of the table shows the local-currency prices of a Big Mac; the second converts them into dollars. The average price in America (including sales tax) is $2.36. However, bargain hunters should head for China, where a burger costs only $1.15. At the other extreme, the Swiss price of $4-80 is enough to make Big Mac fans choke on their all-beef patties. This implies that the yuan is once again the most undervalued currency, and the Swiss franc the most overvalued.

The third column shows Big Mac ppps. For example, if you divide the Japanese price of a Biggu Makku by the American one, you get a dollar ppp of ¥122. The actual rate on April 2.2nd was ¥107, implying that the yen was 14% overvalued against the dollar. Similar sums show that the d-mark is overvalued by 37%/ In general, the dollar is undervalued against the currencies of most big industrial economies, but overvalued against developing countries’ ones.

Thanks partly to the dollar's recovery, the other rich-country currencies look less overvalued than a year ago. Adjustment to ppp can also come from changes in relative prices rather than exchange-rate movements. The most dramatic example of this is Japan, where the price of a Big Mac was slashed by more than a quarter late last year. This reduced the yen's overvaluation from 100% to 14%.

The Big Mac index was originally introduced as a bit of fun. Yet it has inspired several serious studies over the past year. Li Lian Ong, an economist at the University of Western Australia, wrote her phD thesis on the index. She concludes that “the Big Mac index is surprisingly accurate in tracking exchange rates over the longer term.” Another study, by Robert Cumby of Georgetown University in Washington DC, also found that deviations from “McParity” are usually temporary.

But a third study, by Michael Pakko and Patricia Pollard of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, is more sceptical. It concludes that “the Big Mac does as well—or as poorly—at demonstrating the principles and pitfalls of ppp as more sophisticated measures.”

Their study concludes that although Big Mac ppp may hold in the very long run, currencies can deviate from it for lengthy periods. There are several reasons why the Big Mac index may be flawed:

• The theory of ppp falsely assumes that there are no barriers to trade. High prices in Europe. Japan and South Korea partly reflect high tariffs on beef. Differences in transport costs also act as a trade barrier shipping perishable ingredients such as lettuce and beef is dear.

• Prices are distorted by taxes. High rates of value-added tax in countries such as Denmark and Sweden exaggerate the degree to which their currencies are overvalued.

• The Big Mac is not just a basket of commodities: its price must cover rents and the cost of other non-traded inputs. Deviations of ppp may simply reflect differences in such costs.

• Profit margins vary among countries according to the strength of competition. In die United States, the Big Mac has many dose substitutes, but in other countries McDonald's is able to charge a premium.

Despite  these weaknesses, which The Economist has long acknowledged, the Big Mac index still comes up with ppp estimates that are similar id those based on move sophisticated methods. Burgernomics has its methodological flaws, but our money is where our mouths are.

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