Pay equity is healthy | Bleader

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pay equity is healthy

Posted By on 10.24.07 at 07:11 AM

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When the male-female wage gap shrinks, do women become better-respected bargainers on household issues? Or do their male partners feel threatened and start hitting them?

As is often the case in social science, "common sense" says both things. Brown University economist Anna Aizer used improved measures of pay (relative to local standards) and of violence (hospital reports rather than self-reports), and found that the improved-bargaining model fits the facts better. "The improvement in labor market conditions faced by women over the period 1990-2003 explains ten percent of the decline in violence against women over this period." (Abstract here -- California data in both cases.)

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