EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty: "They're right that the French people who are working are some of the most productive people in the world. But that doesn't mean that the French have something to teach us.
Here's what's going on. The French minimum wage in 2009 was 8.71 Euros per hour. At the exchange rate then of $1.33 to the Euro, that translates to $11.58 an hour. That means that people in France whose value of marginal product was less than $11.58 an hour did not have jobs. So who was left? Only those whose value of marginal product was above $11.58 an hour. That's how the average wage in France could be so high. The French government lopped off a large portion of the population, the least-productive portion."
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