Thursday, July 06, 2006


Costly Living?

The Spanish version of the Miami Herald (El Nuevo Herald) recently ran a story headlined:
"Chile, Brasil, Uruguay y Venezuela, los países más caros de Suramérica>" saying that Uruguay was one of the most expensive places to live in South America.

I was a bit concerned since our budget for the year is based on the idea that Uruguay will be cheaper than Kalamazoo. My Spanish wasn't strong enough to really understand the details of the article. My wife, who is fluent, read it and she thought the economics concepts weren't defined clearly, so it was difficult to interpret the article. I found this English version (First Results of the International Comparison Program in South America - Household Consumption in 2005) and I have to agree: it's the economics not the language that's giving me trouble. I'm not sure I should feel good as a novice Spanish speaker, or bad as an experienced economist.

In trying to interpret the article, I did find something more comforting:

"Asuncion in Paraguay remains the least expensive city globally, in 144th position with a score of 43.5. Other cheap cities include Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Caracas in 142nd place (score 54.8.), 138th (56.5) and 136th (57.2) respectively." from Mercer Human Resources Global Cost-of-Living Survey – 2006.

If Montevideo is one of the cheapest cities in the world right now, I guess I don't need to be too concerned about its relative ranking in South America.

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Nice, Mr. Stull. And in Cuba, aren't most of the cars antiques now as well (in reference to your previous article)?

It's too bad this writer had a poor understanding of the economics of the issue, or could not relate his ideas clearly enough. Clearly, no Raul Prebisch. But what can you do, eh?--in Cadillac, Michigan it is much the same way.

I trust the Uruguay trip is going well. Keep posting.
2007 World-wide quality of living survey

Mr. Stull, según Mercer, Montevideo es la ciudad con mayor Calidad de Vida de Sud-América, le sigue Bs.As. y Santidado de Chile en tercer lugar. Pero con respecto al costo de vida Uruguay es un país super caro. Yo soy Uruguayo, y realmente me di cuenta que los precios son casi iguales o mayores que los que puedo encontrar aquí Canada en muchos productos, como vestimenta y electrodomésticos. Quizás Ud está confudido con Paraguay, unos de los países más baratos del mundo. Saludos y disculpe que lo contradiga.-

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