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April 08, 2016


Luis Enrique

another benefit is it might actually increase the efficiency of the labour market - career choices might respond to the the information.


£45k?! either you don't work a lot or you are hugely undervalued.


the boot should be on the other foot. Information improves allocations (whether determined through markets or by decree).

Not why should it be transparent; but what exactly are you hiding?

By the way you are not paid your marginal product. Why not run ads on your blog? I could easily tolerate more nudity in the side bar.

gastro george

You also miss the fact that employers routinely use pay secrecy to keep wages low. This affects women in particular.


In one job I had it was written into my contract that I was not to discuss wages with other staff members. Before I saw this I let slip to another staff member that I was paid more than her for what was essentially the same job.
She never spoke to me again.
Make of that what you will.


Everyone has to disclose what they pay for a share of stock purchased on an exchange. Such disclosure is deemed essential for an operating capital market. Sou why shouldn't purchasers of labor have the same requirements?


Ignorance of inequality works both ways too.

I remember an informal questionnaire of a group of City workers sometime before the 2008 shenanigans. Their average guess for what salary would take you into the top 10% of incomes was £100k even back then!

Add to that the perceived need to keep up with a certain lifestyle, the inflation in private education and things like a >60% marginal income tax band and you can see why some of them don't feel that rich.

And vastly underestimate how poor are the poor.


P.S. that Italian school study of incentives is still badly designed, despite not one of you, including Chris, reading it carefully.


Worth noting that despite Lilico's mithering there are real world examples of transparency (e.g. Finland) where the sky hasn't fallen in.


£45K? Does this include investment income or just salary. That is the question posed to Cameron. People sense that his salary is a minor part of his total revenue stream and it is that stream that is exercising people.


Ignorance is bliss. It would be very hard to think too much about how little many people have to live on. Keep it all secret and you can assume you are not so rich as all that. Whether it would change policy around inequality is another issue.

I can see however that in the case of politicians, in particular, there is a strong argument for full disclosure of both income and wealth. The danger that bribery or other abuse of power can occur may justify special rules for MPs councillors and cabinet ministers. Gladstone changed the law to make gifts to Councillors an offence and reversed the burden of proof. Having a public office he argued should make you subject to more duties than other members of society rather than having more rights. The same logic should probably be applied to top civil servants and judges for the same reason. To avoid conflicts of interest is an important goal when dealing with officials who have great power. Hence the legal maxim and rule that a judge cannot be judge in his own case Re Dr. Bonham's Case 1610.

Deviation From The Mean

"PS I earn around £45,000 pa."

This is not telling us anything other than some useless jobs fetch a great deal of money.

If you earn around the national average we can probably say this is declaring your income because after all your bills, food, taxes, school uniforms for the kids, holidays etc you won't have much left over. However the overpaid Middle classes will have some spare cash and the question then becomes what do they do with this.


Frankly I had no problem with telling other people exactly how much I was worth. When I was grossly underpaid, it made the boss look bad; when I was grossly overpaid, it made other employees realize how arbitrary the system was, and spurred a few of them to quit and get better-paying jobs at other companies.

And by the way, never was I paid my "marginal product of labour".

Cameron is a Crook

"When I was grossly underpaid, it made the boss look bad; when I was grossly overpaid, it made other employees realize how arbitrary the system was, and spurred a few of them to quit and get better-paying jobs at other companies."

Is it me or does this sound like total bullshit?

Let me make a note of that, John at Myownmarketnarrtive is a bullshitter.

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