Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 3 No. 1 (Winter 1989)


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Women's Quest for Economic Equality

Article Citation

Fuchs, Victor R. 1989. "Women's Quest for Economic Equality." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 3(1): 25-41.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.3.1.25


The persistence of substantial gender inequality a quarter-century after the passage of major antidiscrimination legislation and several decades of massive social change poses a major problem for economic analysis and policy. Why are women at an economic disadvantage relative to men, and why is it so difficult for them to improve their relative position? The most popular answer—prejudice and exploitation by employers—is seriously incomplete. There is undoubtedly some prejudice and some exploitation, but the evidence in support of the employer explanation is weak, and there are many facts about work and wages that are inconsistent with it. This paper examines occupational segregation; hours of paid work; wages; sources of inequality; and the demand for children. Finally it discusses implications for policy.

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Fuchs, Victor R. (Unlisted)

JEL Classifications

917: Economics of Minorities; Economics of Discrimination
826: Labor Markets: Demographic Characteristics


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