As reported by the Central Intelligence Agency (2009), in 2008 Japanese GDP per capita was estimated around $34,200. As the same figures in the US are more than 33% higher ($47,000), it seems safe to assume that productivity of the American workers is significantly higher compared to their Japanese peers. Is such conclusion really justified?
An American reader, being accustomed to the $ sign, may assume that $34,200 represent a sum in US dollar. Nevertheless, one should keep in mind that the $ sign is also used to denote 26 other currencies, which are named “dollar,” as well as eight circulating types of peso. In the United States, $34,200 can be enough to buy a sedan, while in Zimbabwe it is not enough to buy even bread. Continue reading