The case for comparable worth

Paula England

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Traditional nondiscrimination efforts focus on women's access to jobs and on equal pay for the same work. Comparable worth adds a third strategy-policies that ensure that jobs do not pay less because they are filled by women. I review evidence of this discrimination. I describe job evaluation, which can be used to correct it, while preserving a large role for market forces. U.S. workers have no protection from this type of discrimination. I consider arguments raised against comparable worth. The claim that antidiscrimination policies are unnecessary because discrimination is eroded by competitive forces fails to recognize the sluggishness of this response. The argument that barriers to entry are the real problem ignores evidence that cultural devaluation affects wage-setting even absent hiring discrimination. Arguments about undesirable side effects apply with equal force to most regulation. I conclude that comparable worth deserves support.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)743-755
    Number of pages13
    JournalQuarterly Review of Economics and Finance
    Volume39
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - 1999

    Fingerprint

    Discrimination
    Market forces
    Side effects
    Wage setting
    Devaluation
    Job evaluation
    Workers
    Hiring
    Non-discrimination
    Equal pay
    Barriers to entry

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Finance

    Cite this

    The case for comparable worth. / England, Paula.

    In: Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Vol. 39, No. 5, 1999, p. 743-755.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    England, P 1999, 'The case for comparable worth', Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 743-755.
    England, Paula. / The case for comparable worth. In: Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. 1999 ; Vol. 39, No. 5. pp. 743-755.
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