The Reason That They Don't Teach At Wharton School

A good rule of thumb is people complaining about everyone else usually illustrate their own guilt more than that of others. A recent case in point is a Tweet by Wharton professor Nina Strohminger that generated a lot of news coverage.

I asked Wharton students what they thought the average American worker makes per year and 25% of them thought it was over six figures. One of them thought it was $800k. Really not sure what to make of this (The real number is $45k)

It’s disappointing that a business school professor would ask such an ambiguous question. “Average” is usually taken as “mean,” but asking about “the average American” suggests a median. Does “worker” mean we should include only wage income, or is it asking about total income? And does “worker” include part-time and unpaid work or only full-time employed people in the regular labor force?


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