The Park Place Economist


“Women must work fifteen months and eight days to earn what men earn in a year" (Lesley, 1999). In a society where women are often single mothers who must support both themselves and children, why would they get paid less than men for doing the same job? When John F. Kennedy passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which promised women "equal pay for equal work," women earned only 58 cents for every dollar men earned. This pay gap is disappearing at a rate of about ten cents every twenty to thirty years (Leinwand, 1999). And more recently, President Clinton announced last year that the government would enforce equal-pay laws more diligently in 1999 and in the future. Employers were told to look more closely at their compensation policies and other possible sources of (unintentional) gender bias (Fitzer, 1999).