Economic and sociological approaches to gender inequality in pay

William P. Bridges, Robert L. Nelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The most extreme free market version is articulated by Richard Epstein (1992). Epstein rejects legal intervention on normative and policy grounds, except in narrow circumstances where the state itself fosters discriminatory conditions or where markets clearly do not operate in ways that allow workers a variety of choices in employment settings. Epstein argues that employers should be allowed to discriminate. They will only do so when it is efficient (for otherwise, they face market extinction). Thus, he believes that antidiscrimination laws, even those governing hiring and promotion, are generally unnecessary as unfettered markets provide the best remedy for discriminatory behavior. And any attempt at legal regulation of pay levels would be especially repugnant to Epstein because it would violate principles of free contract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Sociology of Economic Life, Third Edition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages173-197
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780429962882
ISBN (Print)9780813344553
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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    Bridges, W. P., & Nelson, R. L. (2018). Economic and sociological approaches to gender inequality in pay. In The Sociology of Economic Life, Third Edition (pp. 173-197). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429494338