Implicit Wage Theories in Equal Pay Debates in the United States
We identify three implicit wage theories in U.S. debates over the principle of equal pay for equal work: wages as a living , wages as a price , and wages as a social practice . Arguments for wages as a living emphasize that the purpose of the wage is to provide an adequate level of support for the worker. Proponents of wages as a price emphasize that wages allocate resources and are primarily the outcome of forces of supply and demand. To these two standard views we add an analysis of wages as a social practice. As a concrete social practice, wages shape as well as reflect gender, race, and class. It is only by recognizing that wages serve multiple functions and contain multiple meanings that we can grasp the complexity of wage-setting processes.
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Volume (Year): 7 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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