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Comparative Cost of Doing Business

On March 26, we reported that under their new contract airport workers in the New York City area would be paid — by 2023 — virtually the same salaries that Dartmouth’s unionized workers earn today. We went on to note that the cost of living in New Hampshire is significantly below that of New York. A few readers asked for more information on the cost of doing business in the two places.

As part of research for a business problem, I commissioned a brief study by the Economic Research Institute, an organization that gathers comparative wage and salary information.

First we looked at the compensation paid for a business manager for food and general merchandise. New Hampshire turns out to be the low-cost locale among all the Ivy cities and towns:

IVY COL1.jpg

And the quality of life in New Hampshire is even better. Below are the salaries that a manager has to earn in order to live equivalently in the various Ivy locales:

Ivy Col2a.jpg

Though salaries are lower in the Granite State, a person’s dollar goes a lot further. In short, the College enjoys the best of both worlds: it can pay most of its employees less than the other Ivy schools, and yet people working for the College can live a materially richer life. What a shame that we don’t take advantage of this fact to generate a surplus for our students.

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