The comparable worth approach is a radical departure from market determination of wages. This paper considers some economic issues pertinent to the comparable worth dialogue and focuses on implications of comparable worth legislation at the state and local levels. We show that current sex differentials in wages could reflect voluntary labor supply choices and/or discrimination. We also discuss the reverberations of comparable worth and note that some women in an occupation targeted with a wage increase could be made worse off as a result of employer cutbacks. We discuss why state or local officials may be hesitant to adopt comparable worth and also offer possible explanations for their being receptive to it. The intent throughout is to provide a balanced discussion that will aid individuals in taking an educated stand on the issue. Copyright 1986 Western Economic Association International.
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