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40. A Bit Rich: Calculating the Real Value to Society of Different Professions

Pay matters. How much you earn can determine your lifestyle, where you can afford to live, and your aspirations and status. But to what extent does what we get paid confer ‘worth’? Beyond a narrow notion of productivity, what impact does our work have on the rest of society, and do the financial rewards we receive correspond to this? Do those that get more contribute more to society? With controversial bonuses being paid out in bailed-out banks, the authors believe that it is time to ask challenging questions such as these. In this report to the New Economics Foundation (NEF), they calculate the value to society of a number of different jobs and advocate a fundamental rethink of how the value of work is recognized and rewarded.
They use some of the principles and valuation techniques of Social Return on Investment analysis to quantify the social, environmental and economic value that different roles produce--or in some cases undermine.