Title: Moral reasoning about gender pay gaps

Authors: Wendy Olsen

Addresses: Room G11, Humanities Building, The Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

Abstract: In this paper, I practice using a pluralist approach to moral economy. Firstly, I summarise the main schools of thought about gender pay gaps. These include the marginal productivity theories, the human capital school, compensating differentials, institutionalist, feminist and Marxist viewpoints. I place my own work in a sustainable old-institutionalist school. I describe the normative and ontic assumptions of the various schools of thought. Secondly, a plurality of six complex moral reasoning strategies emerges from this review. The six moral reasoning strategies are the neoliberal growth strategy, human capabilities approach, redistribution approach, transformative approach, social equality approach and a Pareto-optimality approach. The study of these six strategies led toward the conclusion that we need more research on complex moral reasoning strategies. Scientific research can provide evidence to help people shape the moral reasoning that takes place in real-world dialogues and debates about this.

Keywords: pluralism; institutionalism; gender pay gaps; moral economy; employment; moral reasoning; unequal pay; UK; India; United Kingdom; green economics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGE.2009.030990

International Journal of Green Economics, 2009 Vol.3 No.2, pp.142 - 156

Published online: 16 Jan 2010 *

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