Comparable Worth in a Decentralized Labour Market: The Case of Ontario

29 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2004

See all articles by Michael Baker

Michael Baker

University of Toronto - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nicole M. Fortin

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

Abstract

We document the application of pro-active pay equity legislation to the private sector of the Canadian province of Ontario in the early 1990s. We report substantial lapses in compliance among smaller firms where the majority of men and women work. We also find that the pay equity law had no effect on aggregate wages in female jobs or on the gender wage gap. This experience provides unique perspectives on (1) the tensions between the workings of a decentralized labour market and the principles of comparable worth and (2) the obstacles to its extension to the private sector.

JEL Classification: J7, J3

Suggested Citation

Baker, Michael and Fortin, Nicole M., Comparable Worth in a Decentralized Labour Market: The Case of Ontario. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=605124

Michael Baker (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

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Nicole M. Fortin

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Canada
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