IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

John Stuart Mill on Wage Inequalities Between Men and Women


  • Virginie Gouverneur


A section of Mill’s Principles (1848) is about women’s low wages. Contemporary commentators who have studied it minimize its normative content. According to them, Mill’s belief in the naturalness of the traditional sexual division of roles prevent him from proposing efficient remedies to male-female wage differentials and occupational segregation by sex. We propose another reading of Mill’s analysis, as a protest against power relations which, pervading Victorian society, cause wage differences unjustified by differences in efficiency. Its focus is not occupational segregation by sex. Mill addresses the issue elsewhere, then identifying distinct causes of women’s limited entry into skilled occupations.

Suggested Citation

  • Virginie Gouverneur, 2018. "John Stuart Mill on Wage Inequalities Between Men and Women," Working Papers of BETA 2018-43, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2018-43

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    John Stuart Mill; gender pay gap; discrimination; occupational segregation by sex.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2018-43. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.