'Fat Cat Thursday' - 04 January 2018 | tutor2u Economics

If you weren't aware, today is classified as 'Fat Cat Thursday' by Think Tank High Pay Centre.  The concept exists to show how, by comparing the average wage of the CEOs of the FTSE 100 companies with the average wage in the UK, there is a huge disparity between the wages of top executives compared to the people that they employ.  In short, by working 12 hours a day from the 2nd to the 4th of January (even top executives take New Year's day off) the CEOs of the top businesses in the UK will have already earned as much as most of their employees will earn in one entire year by lunchtime today.

As an economics teacher I would be using this in class to ask a few questions of students:

  • How can you explain such a disparity in wages using economic theory (assuming that you've covered that topic)?
  • If the disparity feels 'unfair', is this purely for sociological or political reasons or can you find an economic justification for having a more equal pay structure?
  • When calculating the 'Fat Cat Thursday' point, the statisticians actually use the 'median' UK annual salary in the UK (rather than just the 'average wage').  Why do they use the median wage level?

Of course, you can use this to further discuss inequality in pay and opportunities for women.  In 2016, only 7 of the top executives for the FTSE 100 were women - in fact, there were more men named David than there were women in the FTSE 100 CEO club.

Subscribe to email updates from the tutor2u Economics

Join 1000s of fellow Economics teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Economics team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.

You can also follow @tutor2uEconomics on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or join our popular Facebook Groups.

Teaching Vacancies

Recruitment

Advertise your vacancies with tutor2u

Much cheaper & more effective than TES or the Guardian. Reach the audience you really want to apply for your teaching vacancy by posting directly to our website and related social media audiences.

Find our more ›

Advertise your teaching jobs with tutor2u

A New Home for tutor2u Resources

We've just flicked the switch on moving all our digital resources to instant digital download - via our new subject stores.

For every subject you can now access each digital resource as soon as it is ordered. This will always be the latest edition of each resource too (and we'll update you automatically if there is an upgraded version to use).

Simply add the required resources to your cart, checkout using the usual options and your resources will be available to access immediately via your mytutor2u account.