Brett Creech, an economist at the BLS, recently compiled data on personal expenditures for the U.S., U.K., Japan and Canada, comparing out-of-pocket expenditures for basic goods.He found that compared to the other three countries, Americans end up shelling out way less for food and entertainment.
The results reflect a combination of preference and price, although the data leans more toward demonstrating price inputs.
For instance, health care subsidies and gas taxes in Canada account for the low cost of the former and higher cost of the latter there.
Creech didn’t say so explicitly, but if we assume residents in all four countries have the same need for each of these goods, a lower price — and thus greater accessibility — reflects higher preference.
Here are the full results:
- Americans spent the most among the four on “food at home.” The British spent most on “food away from home.”
- Americans spent the least among the four on entertainment.
- The British spent the most on alcohol and tobacco products, as well as entertainment. They also spent the least on education.
Then again the state of U.S. spending could be due to taking after poor role models from pop culture. To see who might be giving Americans bad ideas, click here.