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The Economics and Law of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace


  • Basu, Kaushik

    (Cornell U)


Suppose a firm has a widespread reputation for sexually harassing its employees. When a person signs up to work for such a firm, it would appear that both the firm and the worker are better off by virtue of the "exchange". Is there a case then for government to ban sexual harassment in the workplace? Starting from this question, this paper constructs an argument for legislative intervention. This "economic approach" is applied to other labor market practices and is used to evaluate and critique the current law concerning sexual harassment in the U.S. and other nations.
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  • Basu, Kaushik, 2003. "The Economics and Law of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," Working Papers 03-07, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:03-07

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
    2. Basu, Kaushik, 2003. "Prelude to Political Economy: A Study of the Social and Political Foundations of Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199261857.
    3. Genicot, Garance, 2002. "Bonded labor and serfdom: a paradox of voluntary choice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 101-127, February.
    4. Basu, Kaushik, 1984. "The Right to Give up Rights," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(204), pages 413-422, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Basu, Kaushik & Pattanaik, Prasanta K., 2014. "Nash equilibria of games when players'preferences are quasi-transitive," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7037, The World Bank.
    2. David H. Autor, 2009. "Introduction to "Studies of Labor Market Intermediation"," NBER Chapters,in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 1-23 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:232-248 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sarah Brown & Karl Taylor, 2005. "Bullying, Education and Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from the National Child Development Study," Working Papers 2005015, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2005.
    5. Alvin E. Roth, 2007. "Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 37-58, Summer.
    6. Chen, Daniel L. & Sethi, Jasmin, 2016. "Insiders, Outsiders, and Involuntary Unemployment: Sexual Harrassment Exacerbates Gender Inequality," IAST Working Papers 16-44, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    7. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2008. "Identity and racial harassment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(3-4), pages 529-557, June.
    8. Maitreyi Bordia Das, 2016. "All in my Head? The Play of Exclusion and Discrimination in the Labor Market," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(02), pages 1-20, June.
    9. David H. Autor, 2008. "The Economics of Labor Market Intermediation: An Analytic Framework," NBER Working Papers 14348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Sandro Ambuehl, 2017. "An Offer You Can't Refuse? Incentives Change How We Inform Ourselves and What We Believe," CESifo Working Paper Series 6296, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Dilip Mookherjee & Ulf von Lilienfeld-Toal, 2005. "Bankruptcy Law, Bonded Labor and Inequality," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series DP-155, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    12. Lynn Fisher & Abdullah Yavas, 2007. "The Value of Equitable Redemption in Commercial Mortgage Contracting," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 411-425, November.
    13. Dilip Mookherjee, 2006. "Decentralization, Hierarchies, and Incentives: A Mechanism Design Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(2), pages 367-390, June.
    14. Ulf von Lilienfeld-Toal & Dilip Mookherjee, 2010. "The Political Economy of Debt Bondage," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 44-84, August.
    15. Antecol, Heather & Barcus, Vanessa E. & Cobb-Clark, Deborah, 2009. "Gender-biased behavior at work: Exploring the relationship between sexual harassment and sex discrimination," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 782-792, October.
    16. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah, 2006. "The sexual harassment of female active-duty personnel: Effects on job satisfaction and intentions to remain in the military," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 55-80, September.
    17. Joni Hersch, 2011. "Compensating Differentials for Sexual Harassment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 630-634, May.

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