An important and emerging public policy consideration… generally called equal pay for comparable worth…has received great attention from those who influence or report public policy initiatives. The comparable worth movement is directed at pay equity issues, primarily between men and women. The source of controversy surrounding comparable worth concerns the mechanism for determining wages in the economy…either an unrestricted market process or a subjective valuation process by designated "pay equity experts." Although the pay and allocation mechanisms and their side effects are controversial, other important questions concern the actual method of equity determination to be used in implementing comparable worth. This paper analyzes, from a general public policy perspective, many of the issues and much of the evidence surrounding comparable worth initiatives. Copyright 1986 Western Economic Association International.
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