Equal Pay for Women and Quotas

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    What would you say to someone who wants legislation that ensures equal pay for women? Also, they want legislation that establishes percentage quotas in the workplace to make sure firms are hiring enough women.

    How could we knock this one out of the park?

    Jason Jewell

    “Consider a man and a woman each with a productivity of $10 per hour, and suppose, because of discrimination or whatever, that the man is paid $10 per hour and the woman is paid $8 per hour. It is as if the woman had a little sign on her forehead saying, “Hire me and earn an extra $2 an hour.”

    This makes her a desirable employee even for a sexist boss. But when an equal-pay law stipulates that she must be paid the same as the man, the employer can indulge his discriminatory tendencies and not hire her at all — at no cost to himself.”


    Walter Block has several pieces that address this sort of thing. Search mises.org for his articles and videos on affirmative action; the logic is the same as for equal-pay legislation.


    Thanks Dr. J! Makes perfect sense, and is a nice brief response as well.


    Sorry for reviving an old post!

    I’ve observed that some ‘industry leading’ large companies are vowing to help ‘close the gender pay gap’, while also instituting affirmative action hiring practices/quotas to ensure a specific, high % hiring of women (as well as minorities).

    Combining ‘equal pay’ as well as affirmative action hiring? I understand the effects that occur when one or the other is implemented, but the two together are causing me some confusion (effects aside from screwing over the white male labor pool).
    Any ideas as to why they are pushing to do this? Political favor? Good PR? Shameless masochism?


    I would ask:
    Say, a woman wants to take a job for a lower wage. What should we do to her?
    Hit her? Threaten her? Or should we do those things to her employer?
    Most will say: Off course Not.
    Then try to persuade them to be consistent.

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