November 4, 2018
Many employees want to know how much their colleagues earn, but most are uncomfortable asking. Two economists tried to quantify that interest by asking 750 employees at a bank in Asia how much they’d be willing to pay to learn about their co-workers’ salaries. The median response was $13, which suggests that a large number of employees weren’t curious. But some cared a lot. The average top half of responses was $369, and some said they’d pay more than $1,000.
If only they worked in Finland.
Once every year — on an occasion dubbed “National Jealousy Day” — the Finnish government makes everyone’s taxable income public. While this has the salutary effect of tamping down income inequality, it also, counterintuitively, appears to make people less satisfied with what they are earning.
On the other hand, where else would you learn that the Finnish porn star, Anssi “Mr. Lothar” Viskari, earned $27,000 last year?