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Employers' Estimates of Market Wages: Implications for Wage Discrimination in the U.S.

By Marlene Kim

Abstract

In the U.S., public and private employers often survey each other's wages in order to estimate the prevailing “market wage” for a job. I examine this process to see how it can lead to underpaying women, relying on a 1989 study of government wage-setting in the State of Washington and my own study of government wage-setting in the State of California. Gender biases can appear because numerous decisions are involved in each step of the process, and these decisions are often influenced by the gendered social and political environment, including the different levels of political organization of male and female employees.Salary Surveys, Discrimination, Compensation, Wage-SETTING, Gender,

DOI identifier: 10.1080/13545700050076124
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