Principles of Economics- Mankiw (5th) 420

Principles of Economics- Mankiw (5th) 420 - 432 PA R T S I...

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432 PART SIX THE ECONOMICS OF LABOR MARKETS THE DEBATE OVER COMPARABLE WORTH Should engineers get paid more than librarians? This question is at the heart of the debate over comparable worth, a doctrine whereby jobs deemed comparable should be paid the same wage. Advocates of comparable worth point out that traditionally male occupations have higher wages than traditionally female occupations. They believe that these oc- cupational differences are discriminatory against women. Even if women were paid the same as men for the same type of work, the gender gap in wages would persist until comparable occupations were paid similar wages. Comparable-worth advo- cates want jobs rated according to a set of impartial criteria—education, experience, responsibility, working conditions, and so on. Under this system, comparably rated jobs would pay the same wage. A librarian with a master’s degree, ten years of ex- perience, and a 40-hour workweek, for instance, would be paid the same as an engi-
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