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Égalité salariale, discriminations individuelles et systémiques. Un éclairage de la jurisprudence américaine


  • Marie Mercat-Bruns


The United States and Europe prohibit wage discrimination and support equal pay between men and women. Beyond the legal standards used in different countries, it is difficult to measure exactly the breadth of pay discrimination which covers entire careers and can stem from different sources. In the United States, two cases shed light on the stakes of this economic, social, and legal debate involving gender. These cases illustrate the recurring challenges of finding an adequate time frame in construing the gender pay gap and the effects of individual and systemic discrimination on the level of wages. In what ways can parties, in a trial, single out and prove these different types of discrimination? How can social framework evidence contribute in these employment discrimination cases? How do American judges consider wage discrimination and its effect on women?s entire careers in a context in which class action litigation is possible? Conversely, through an analysis of wage discrimination cases, what can we learn about the logic of discrimination? The goal of this research is to flesh out the judicial standards of interpretation and the tools available to judges in order to put into perspective the debate in France and Europe as a whole. JEL classification codes: J16, J52, K40.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie Mercat-Bruns, 2010. "Égalité salariale, discriminations individuelles et systémiques. Un éclairage de la jurisprudence américaine," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 95-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:reofsp:reof_114_0095

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    equal pay; wage discrimination; Class Action; systemic discrimination; individual discrimination; proof of discrimination; Bias; Comparative Law;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General


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